Todd Loren launched Rock 'N' Roll Comics in 1989 to spin unlicensed comic-book biographies of rock stars. Some, like Frank Zappa and Kiss, were supportive, while others -- such as the New Kids on the Block -- sued.
In June 1992, 32-year-old Loren was found murdered in his San Diego condo. The case remains unsolved, though recent clues researched by the FBI link his death to Hillcrest gadfly and serial killer Andrew Cunanan.
San Diego police recently reopened their investigation into Loren's murder. Evidence is being reexamined with forensic technology unavailable in 1992, and new interviews are being conducted. Details of the crime have been posted on a new cold-case website (www.sandiego.gov/police/about/coldcase.shtml).
Crimestoppers is offering a new $1000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
A documentary film -- Unauthorized and Proud of It: Todd Loren's Rock 'N' Roll Comics -- will soon be released on DVD by Chicago-based BulletProof Film. Interviewees include Mojo Nixon, who worked with the Hillcrest comic company. Nixon explains that Loren's willingness to be "outlaw" was not only the secret but the reason for his success.
The filmmakers confront San Diego police about their original investigation into Loren's murder; interspersed are clips of those closest to Loren (who was gay) who reveal that police never interviewed them.
"The cops looked at it as just another fag murder," says local cartoonist Mary Fleener, who sings with Cindy Lee Berryhill's band.