George Caragonne

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George Caragonne
Born 1965
California
Died July 20, 1995(1995-07-20) (aged 30)
New York City
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Editor
Notable works
Penthouse Comix

George Caragonne (1965 – July 20, 1995) was an American comic book writer and editor, most notable for being co-founder of Penthouse Comix magazine. He committed suicide in 1995 at age 30.

Biography[edit]

Early career[edit]

Caragonne wrote comics, primarily for Marvel Comics and their subsidiary Star Comics, throughout the latter half of the 1980s. Titles he wrote included Masters of the Universe, Planet Terry, and Star Brand. He also worked in the animation field.[1]

In 1988, after hearing that former Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter was forming Valiant Comics, Caragonne drove from California to New York, and, unannounced, knocked on Shooter's door to offer his services.[citation needed] Caragonne agreed to do all the grunt work Valiant needed, all while holding a full-time job.[citation needed] After Valiant was on its feet, Caragonne wrote such titles as Captain N, The Legend of Zelda, and Punch Out!!.

After leaving Valiant, Caragonne wrote a few freelance stories for Marvel, including a short Silver Surfer story for a custom comic produced for Charleston Chew,[2] and a short backup tale for a Fantastic Four annual.[3]

Penthouse Comics[edit]

Main article: Penthouse Comix

Around this time Caragonne created a comics packaging studio called Constant Developments, Inc. (CDI). CDI optioned the rights to produce new comics featuring the 1960s superhero team T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents (from John Carbonaro, then the rights-holder).[4] An acquaintance introduced Caragonne to Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione, whom Caragonne tried to interest in publishing T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. Guccione instead hired Caragonne to create soft-core erotica comic sections for Penthouse magazine.

Caragonne was given an office inside Penthouse's headquarters. After several sections of comics had been produced for Penthouse, Guccione directed Caragonne to produce a stand-alone comics magazine for his company; the first issue of Penthouse Comix appeared in spring 1994.

With stories by Caragonne and art by the likes of Adam Hughes, Garry Leach, Arthur Suydam, Milo Manara, Richard Corben, Bart Sears, and Gray Morrow, Penthouse Comix was an immediate international success, and spawned a full line that included the seven-issue Men's Adventure Comix and the three-issue Omni Comix, the latter a companion to the science magazine Omni (which was also published by Guccione). (A T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents story did eventually find publication in a Guccione publication, in the first issue of Omni Comix.)[5] Caragonne (under Guccione's direction) began to change the material from soft-core erotica to hardcore pornography.

Controversy and death[edit]

In mid-July 1995 Caragonne was dismissed from Penthouse Comix for financial impropriety (and other erratic behavior).[1] A week later, on July 20, Caragonne, who lived on West 100th Street in Manhattan, committed suicide by leaping 500 feet from the 45th floor of the Marriott Marquis Hotel, landing in an atrium.[6]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Evanier, Mark. "George". POV Online: News from Me (July 20, 2005).
  2. ^ "The Leader," Marvel Collector's Edition #1 (1992).
  3. ^ "In Kang's Clutches," Fantastic Four annual #25 (1992).
  4. ^ Sodaro, Robert J. "The Resplendent Sound of T.H.U.N.D.E.R.!" Comics Value Annual (1999). Archived on ThunderAgents.com. Accessed Feb. 8, 2014.
  5. ^ Omni Comix #1 (March 1995).
  6. ^ Lambiet, Jose, Laurie C. Merrill and Corky Siemaszko."Stunned Tourists See Man Plunge To Death", Daily News (July 21, 1995).

External links[edit]