His high school years spent reading science fiction paper backs in the back of the classroom led straight to a professional status: he took the initiative and inquired about becoming estate executor to pulp writer Otis Adelbert Kline! (I discovered Kline's initials presented as OAK and wondered if that wasn't the inspiration for the "DAK" nomenclature.) Science fiction writer Leigh Brackett (who famously drafted The Empire Strikes Back script) and Marvel's Stan Lee were also formative influences. Fictioneer also published hard back editions of Jack London, Frank Baum, the autobiography of A.E. van Vogt, Robert E. Howard, and E. Hoffmann Price, a colorful ex-soldier and pulp writer who became an early mentor.
Fictioneer Books didn't become a publisher -- it began as one. Before going to Marvel, I published Robert E Howard and Jack London and L Frank Baum hardcovers, plus editing and publishing sf writer A E Van Vogt's autobiography in trade pbk, along with an Otis Adelbert Kline original trade. Then, I got busy with comics, and when I got back into publishing, it made sense to publish what I knew, hence: Comics Interview mag and the various original comics series, also under the Fictioneer imprint.