|Born||Stuart Loren Shapiro
January 14, 1960
|Died||June 11, 1992
San Diego, California
|Area(s)||Writer, Editor, Publisher|
As a teenager, Loren promoted comic conventions and record collector shows in the Detroit area. He moved to San Diego, California, in the late 1980s and started Musicade, a mail-order music memorabilia company. In 1989, he sold Musicade and started Revolutionary Comics, which produced Rock 'N' Roll Comics, a line of unauthorized comic book biographies of rock stars prompted in part by the success of an unauthorized Bruce Springsteen parody comic called "Hey Boss." He hired "Hey Boss" artist Larry Nadolsky to draw the first issue of Rock 'N' Roll Comics, which profiled Guns N' Roses. Loren's father, Herb Shapiro was the Vice President of the company operating Revolutionary Comics, Infinite One Inc.
Loren was also the first creator of the Carnal Comics line, which is still publishing comics in 2011. From 1994 to 2000, the Carnal line was run by former Revolutionary Comics managing editor and head writer Jay Allen Sanford. The series was subsequently published by another of Loren's Revolutionary Comics artists, Steven S. Crompton, creator of Demi the Demoness.
In June 1992, at the age of 32, Loren was found stabbed to death in his San Diego condo. The case remains unsolved, although some people suspected spree killer Andrew Cunanan, as both men were well known in San Diego's gay social circles. The FBI later investigated Cunanan's possible involvement.
In 2005, Chicago-based film studio BulletProof Film released Unauthorized and Proud Of It: Todd Loren's Rock 'N' Roll Comics, a documentary about Loren's life. The film features interviews with Loren's family, comic book colleagues, adversaries, supporters, and past and present rock 'n' roll stars, including Alice Cooper.The film details the San Diego police department's investigation into the murder; interviews with Loren's coworkers and family members suggest that the police failed to follow up on all available leads. The film was released on DVD in 2012 by Wild Eye Releasing, under the title Unauthorized: The Story of Rock 'N' Roll Comics.
Appearing in the film are Alice Cooper, publishers Gary Groth (Fantagraphics) and Denis Kitchen (Kitchen Sink Press), famed groupie Cynthia Plaster Caster, underground painter and RevCom cover artist Robert Williams (known for his controversial album art for the first Guns N' Roses LP), RnR Comics co-creator Jay Allen Sanford, Gene Simmons (audio only), and more.
- "NewsWatch: Todd Loren Slain," The Comics Journal #151 (July 1992), p. 11.
- "Newswatch: Did Andrew Cunanan Murder Revolutionary Comics Publisher Todd Loren?," The Comics Journal #198 (August 1997), p. 33.
- Beth Hannan Rimmels, "Did Andrew Cunanan Kill Comics Publisher?," Long Island Voice (August 21–27, 1997).
- Unauthorized and Proud Of It: Todd Loren's Rock 'N' Roll Comics at the Internet Movie Database
- Sanford, Jay Allen. "Carnal Comics: The Inside Story," San Diego Reader blog (September 8, 2007).
- Sanford. "Rock 'N' Roll Comics: The Inside Story" San Diego Reader blog (September 12, 2007).
- Sanford. "Komplete Kiss Comix Kronicles," San Diego Reader blog (September 12, 2007).
- Sanford. "New Kids on the Block vs. Revolutionary Comics," San Diego Reader blog (September 13, 2007).