Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Valiant/Acclaim's James Perham Passes Away

You know, being part of the comic book community is a funny thing...

2008 marks the ten year anniversary of Acclaim Comics' Manhattan office closing. I was going to originally write, "the ten year anniversary of Acclaim Comics closing," but that would not be accurate. The company went on for two years after that, based in Acclaim Entertainment's Long Island headquarters. But, in my mind, Acclaim Comics -- also known as Valiant Comics -- had effectively ended in 1998.

James Perham was literally the last Valiant/Acclaim person to remain at Acclaim Comics, trying to hold the fort and relaunch that comic book universe one last time with Unity 2000. It was fitting that James would stick to the very end, as he was, in many was, the heart and soul of Valiant/Acclaim. He was the the glue that held things together there, not only as its operations manager, but just as a dear friend and fellow comic book fan.

I had problems sleeping early this morning, and at 4:30 I woke up and checked my Blackberry. That's when I read that James had passed away this weekend.

I mulled this over in my head, letting it sink in. It had been a long time since I saw James. My mind flipped through the pages, remembering a dozen separate instances -- funny things James had said (he was very funny), kind things he had done. A person's life can be made up by these countless instances of performing such kindnesses -- even seemingly small ones -- to others.

Given the time that has passed, I didn't think it would really have an impact -- not like it would have been with people I am in touch with now, not like a family member. But, by 5:30, when I walked in a daze into my kitchen to start the coffee, I could almost watch myself turn away from the coffeemaker, crouch to the floor, and begin to cry.

As I said, being part of the comic book community is a funny thing...


  1. Sorry for your loss. My best to his family and friends. Always liked Valiant.

  2. I'm really sorry to hear that. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

  3. Sorry for your loss, Val.

  4. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Deepest condolences.

    It's funny. I was just thinking about Valiant.

    I can't remember where, but someone was talking about comic books numbered at zero. It got me thinking about the only number zero I have, which is, I think, a Bloodshot #0. Don't remember what the comic was about, and I don't even know why I got it, but it was the first #0 I'd ever seen or heard of.

    Sorry. Rambling. I guess the gist of what I'm saying is that Valiant made a significant impact during the comics explosion of the 90's. It showed an independent company could compete with the Big Two, and drew a lot of fans.

    Sad day.

  5. You and I missed each other at Valiant/Acclaim, Val. I interned there from 2005-2007 and Jim gave me my stipend. He was a true fan.

  6. James was a really awesome guy. I had the honorable pleasure of meeting him a couple of years ago, and I looked up to him. He was an amazing person and he had a beautiful heart. I've been crying since I found out.

    He touched so many lives.

  7. James was a good guy. I didn't know him throughout all of the comics business, I worked with him after he moved out west. He was very funny. Could make you laugh no matter how bad you were feeling. He was a genuine caring person, and the world would be a better place if there were more people like him around.