Los Angeles Times Gets Radical with Barry Levine
December 13th, 2008 – The career of Radical Publishing’s President and Publisher Barry Levine remains unlike any other in the entertainment industry—so extraordinary that The Los Angeles Times recently sat down with him to discuss his storied past and future plans for Radical, which scored overwhelming success in its breakout year of publishing, including film deals with John Woo, Peter Berg and Bryan Singer.
Working his way up from the streets to become one of the rock industry’s premier photographers, Levine regularly shot marquee talents like KISS, The Beatles, Motley Crue, Aerosmith, Elton John and Queen. While Barry could have stayed at the top of the rock photography world, he continued to seek bigger challenges and sought them by going into film. He became music supervisor for such movies as Judge Dredd, Street Fighter, Die Hard With A Vengeance and the Best Picture Oscar-winner Driving Miss Daisy.
Not content to simply work on films from other executives, he launched a career as a producer himself, with a first-look deal in the comics-to-film entertainment division of Dark Horse, the largest independent comics publisher in North America. During his three-year tenure, he set up nine Dark Horse properties as film or television projects with nearly every major studio, including Universal, Sony, Paramount/MTV Films, Warner Bros. and Disney/Miramax.
Levine continued to show that he moves to the beat of his own drum when he unveiled Radical Publishing, his own comics line, at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con, showcasing the style of artwork that would become the signature look of the company. The first issues of its 2008 debut titles, Hercules: The Thracian Wars and Caliber: First Canon of Justice, rapidly sold out and went to second printings, eventually receiving hardcover collected editions. Yoshitaka Amano’s Mateki: The Magic Flute followed a month later, released as an oversized hardcover graphic novel to a worldwide audience for the first time.
Radical later added two more titles, Freedom Formula: Ghost of the Wasteland and City of Dust: A Philip Khrome Story, to rave reviews in both the industry and mainstream press. The company will enter 2009 with two more major releases, including Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead, from celebrated industry veterans Steve Pugh and Warren Ellis, and Shrapnel: Aristeia Rising, from Zombie Studios President Mark Long and Nick Sagan, the popular sci-fi novelist and son of famed astronomer Carl Sagan. Radical will also unveil the finale of City of Dust: A Philip Khrome Story from fan-favorite writer Steve Niles (co-creator of the blockbuster 30 Days of Night), as well as launch a Hercules sequel, with contributions from comics legend Jim Steranko.
“Barry has had an interesting career to say the least and starting Radical was an entirely natural progression for him considering his love for storytelling,” said Radical Vice President Jesse Berger. “He’s producing projects in the literary world that bend against the norm, but with tremendous success, so it’s no surprise that the L.A. Times would want to tell his story. I’m thrilled that it’s given him such a high-profile forum in which to do it.”
The Los Angeles Times article, which appears as a cover story for its Calendar entertainment section in the Saturday, Dec. 13th edition, can be found below.