Young, Larry

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Young, Larry

PERSONAL:

Born in Cleveland, OH; married Mimi Rosenheim (business partner and editor). Education: Clark University, B.A.

ADDRESSES:

Office—AiT/Planet Lar, 2034 47th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94116. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Founder of trade paperback and graphic novel publishing company AiT/Planet Lar, 1999—. Previously worked as a paste-up artist for an advertising company, as production coordinator for a tabloid newspaper, and as art director for a department store advertising department.

WRITINGS:

True Facts (nonfiction), AiT/Planet Lar (San Francisco, CA), 2002.

(With Brandon McKinney) Planet of the Capes (graphic novel), AiT/Planet Lar (San Francisco, CA), 2004.

Proof of Concept (graphic novel), AiT/Planet Lar (San Francisco, CA), 2004.

Author of The Bod for Image Comics' Double Image; author of weekly column "Loose Cannon" for Comic Book Resources Web Site; author of "True Facts" columns on comic book self-publishing for Web site Savant; early work collected as Planet Lar 1999.

"ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE" SERIES

(With Charlie Adlard, Warren Ellis, and others) Astronauts in Trouble: Live from the Moon, AiT/Planet Lar (San Francisco, CA), 1999.

The Making of "Astronauts in Trouble" (script collection), Ait/Planet Lar (San Francisco, CA), 1999.

(With Charlie Adlard, Andy Midler, and others) Astronauts in Trouble: One Shot, One Beer, AiT/Planet Lar (San Francisco, CA), 2000.

(With Charlie Adlard and Kurt Busiek) Astronauts in Trouble: Space, 1959, AiT/Planet Lar (San Francisco, CA), 2000.

(With Charlie Adlard and Matt Smith) Astronauts in Trouble: Master Flight Plan (contains Astronauts in Trouble: One Shot, One Beer, Astronauts in Trouble: Space, 1959, and Astronauts in Trouble: Live from the Moon,), AiT/Planet Lar (San Francisco, CA), 2003.

"BLACK DIAMOND" SERIES

The Black Diamond: On Ramp, illustrated by Jon Proctor, AiT/Planet Lar (San Francisco, CA), 2007.

The Black Diamond: One More for the Road, illustrated by Jon Proctor, AiT/Planet Lar (San Francisco, CA), 2007.

ADAPTATIONS:

Astronauts in Trouble has been optioned for television by Kickstart Productions.

SIDELIGHTS:

Larry Young is the founder of AiT/Planet Lar, a publishing company that focuses on producing original graphic novels. He is also the author of such highly regarded comics as Astronauts in Trouble: Live from the Moon, Proof of Concept, and The Black Diamond: On Ramp. "I'm one of those rare folks who understand that comics is a Commercial Art, with all that that implies," Young remarked to Tom Spurgeon on the Comics Reporter Web site. "Entertaining an audience via the medium of comics is very literally a tightrope walk between the two high towers of Commerce and Art. Too much Commerce and you're just doing CPR on some dusty corporate trademark from sixty years ago, and too much Art and the creator can't pay his student loans because he made me spend all his profits printing his comic book on bulletproof paper … when fire-retardant paper would have fulfilled his vision just as well."

Young, who began AiT/Planet Lar in 1999, receives editorial guidance from his wife and business partner, Mimi Rosenheim. "The reason we originally started publishing wasn't because we thought we could make a lot of money," he told Wesley Craig Green on the Independent Propaganda Web site, "but rather I thought the sorts of comics I wanted to read as a comics fan just weren't being produced." Young is involved in all aspects of the industry, including art management, advertising and promotion, prepress production, and distribution. He told Spurgeon: "I suppose I'd have to say I'm most proud of the tireless and effective hand-selling I do to direct market retailers, corporate bookstore buyers, and audience members. I very much enjoy connecting with the full comics audience because, at the core of it, I'm the world's biggest fan of the form. I love comics so much I have to make my own."

Young's first major work, the action-adventure tale Astronauts in Trouble: Live from the Moon, concerns industrialist Ishmael Hayes, the world's richest man, who plans to claim the moon as his own. When a terrorist group tries to sabotage the mission, Hayes launches into space with members of the Channel Seven news team. "Astronauts In Trouble was so successful, it anchored the company," Young told Rob Lavender on the Comic Book Resources Web site.

In his works, Young often plays with the conventions of the comic book industry. In Proof of Concept, Young collects six of his short stories, each illustrated by a different artist. The work unfolds as the author attempts to pitch his story ideas to his entertainment lawyer. "It's Young pushing the best, ‘high concept’ elements of the story, which in its own way, is a high concept way to approach a comics anthology," observed Dorian Wright on PostmodernBarney.com. According to Mike Sterling, on the Progressive Ruin Web site, "The stories run from the amusing (kids find a spatial anomaly in their backyard) to the compelling (a crew of time-travelers must pursue their insane former captain through time and space) to the downright bizarre (a future world populated entirely by clones of Abraham Lincoln)."

Young's "The Black Diamond" series examines life in the post-9/11 world. Having banned all commercial airline flights, the U.S. government constructs an eight-lane, elevated superhighway known as the Black Diamond to transport goods from coast to coast. "But what the highway has become is something unexpected: a lawless blacktop governed by drug runners, misfits and miscreants," noted Chris Arrant on Newsarama. com. When his wife is kidnapped, orthodontist Dan McLaughlin takes to the road in a 1973 Mercury Cougar to rescue her. "Imagine if such a guy, controlled in his emotions, by societal strictures, happenstance, whatever, gets thrown off the leash with a fast car and a cute girl," Young told Arrant. "What's he going to do? That was the in for me, and I think that's what makes the story powerful."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 2004, Ray Olson, review of Planet of the Capes, p. 1714; February 1, 2005, Ray Olson, review of Proof of Concept, p. 952.

Entertainment Weekly, February 21, 2003, Ray Olson, review of Astronauts in Trouble: Live from the Moon, p. 156.

Publishers Weekly, October 20, 2003, Douglas Wolk, "Electricity at AiT/Planet Lar," p. S16.

ONLINE

AiT/Planet Lar Web Site,http://www.ait-planetlar.com/ (April 15, 2007).

Bookslut,http://www.bookslut.com/ (May 10, 2007), Michael Farrelly, "An Interview with Larry Young."

Chud.com,http://www.chud.com/ (June 20, 2005), Sean Fahey, "First Issue of The Black Diamond Sets the Stage for What Looks to Be an Exciting Series."

Comic Book Galaxy,http://www.comicbookgalaxy.com/ (September 19, 2004), Scott Eagan, "Larry Young Interview."

Comic Book Resources,http://www.comicbookresources.com/ (June 15, 2004), Rob Lavender, "Talking with AIT/Planet Lar's Larry Young."

Comics Reporter,http://www.comicsreporter.com/ (July 3, 2005), Tom Spurgeon, "A Short Interview with Larry Young."

Fanboy Planet Web Site,http://www.fanboyplanet.com/ (September 19, 2004), Robert Sparling, review of Astronauts in Trouble.

iCOMICS.com,http://www.icomics.com/ (September 19, 2004), Greg McElhatton, review of Astronauts in Trouble: Space, 1959.

Independent Propaganda,http://independentpropaganda.com/ (September 28, 2006), Wesley Craig Green, "Interview: Publisher Larry Young of AiT/PlanetLar."

Newsarama.com,http://forum.newsarama.com/ (March 14, 2007), Chris Arrant, "Larry Young & Jon Proctor Talk The Black Diamond."

Ninth Art,http://www.ninthart.com/ (September 19, 2004), Andrew Wheeler, "Young and Restless: An Interview with Larry Young."

Pop Syndicate,http://www.popsyndicate.com/ (March 18, 2007), Scott Cederlund, "Larry Hits the Open Road."

PostmodernBarney.com,http://www.postmodernbarney.com/ (November 19, 2004), Dorian Wright, review of Proof of Concept.

Progressive Ruin,http://progressiveruin.com/ (November 14, 2004), Mike Sterling, review of Proof of Concept.

Sequential Tart Web Site,http://sequentialtart.com/ (May 10, 2007), Barb Lien, review of Astronauts in Trouble: Live from the Moon.