Steven Massarsky: 1948-2007
Steven J. Massarsky, an attorney and businessman best known for co-founding Valiant Comics with Jim Shooter, died October 5, 2007 at 12:26 p.m. in Manhattan from complications related to cancer.
In 1989, Massarsky co-founded Voyager Communications Inc. (Valiant Comics), which grew into the third largest comic book publisher in the U.S. The company was sold to Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. where Massarsky remained as President and Publisher of the Acclaim Comics division until their bankruptcy. Prior to that, operated an entertainment law practice. His clientele included Nintendo, The Wailers, Cabbage Patch Dolls, the Psychedelic Furs, Collins Management, Aerosmith,
The response to Massarsky’s passing has been mixed. One industry pro said that thanks to a royalty agreement he signed with Massarsky, "I got the biggest damn check I’ve ever seen. Paid off all back debts and made a sizable downpayment on the home I am now in — which would never have happened otherwise. Because of the deal Massarsky made with me." On the other hand, other industry pros said Massarsky never paid them for work performed and that he "was such an asshole he was kicked out of rock ‘n’ roll by Aerosmith while they were still on drugs."
For a detailed, although obviously biased, look at Massarsky’s time with Valiant, see this interview with Jim Shooter.