Revolutionary Comics, founded in San Diego by Todd Loren in 1989, published about 300 unauthorized rock-and-roll comic books based on Elvis, Pearl Jam, Led Zeppelin, and others. Some of the artists portrayed -- such as Frank Zappa and Mojo Nixon -- approved; Guns 'n' Roses and Bon Jovi sued, claiming unlawful use of their image.
Someone killed Loren in his San Diego condo in June of 1992. He was 32.
Tomorrow, to coincide with the Comic-Con International convention, producer/director Ilko Davidov will be in town to host the world premiere of a 78-minute documentary he produced about Loren.
"I had to rent out my own room," says Davidov. "We tried to show [the film] as part of the convention.... They didn't want to show this film. Todd used to have fights with the people at Comic-Con. He would speak his mind, and people didn't like that." Davidov says he is showing the film free of charge because he has not yet obtained the rights to license the music used in the film. He says he uses footage of Alice Cooper, many of his fellow artists, and of Loren. One of Loren's colleagues interviewed in the film is Reader music writer Jay Allen Sanford.
"The FBI came and talked to Jay about it. He managed the company after Todd died. Jay says [in the film] that Todd was probably murdered by Andrew Cunanan."
Cunanan, who murdered Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace, was not identified as a serial murderer until 1997. Davidov says there are similarities between Loren's death and the other Cunanan killings.
Revolutionary Comics: Unauthorized and Proud of It -- The Todd Loren Story screens tomorrow, Friday, July 15, at 7 and 9 p.m. at the Radisson Harbor View Hotel, 1646 Front Street. Free admission.