What we now know as the CLJII Empire started out as two companies founded by an unusually bright and gifted youngster still in High School. Charles Lee Jackson, the Second, had begun writing and drawing cartoon-strip stories before kindergarten, as the disability that afflicted him in infancy had allowed him time to read and watch movies while other kids were outdoors running amuck.
CLJII Pictures and CLJII Publications reflected his principal interests in life: film-making and writing. As a film-maker, he wanted to produce, direct, write, perform, and supervise all the details that went into creating a movie; as a writer, he wanted to both write about the movies, and write and draw fiction. CLJII Publications began producing Cinemania in October of 1966, as a school-sponsored newsletter that soon grew into a full-fledged fanzine. CLJII Pictures took longer to get off the ground, but was engaged in the production of its first film, “Triple Doubles”, in the early nineteen seventies. CLJII Pictures counted among its personnel musician and stuntman William Mills, still with us today; David McDaniel, writer, cinematographer and film editor; and Robert Short, stuntman who later went on to a career in feature-film special effects.
Over the years, additional companies were added, to take care of other forms of entertainment and to support and distribute the products of those companies. An additional group of companies was established, real-world avatars of the Justice-enforcement agencies that appeared in the stories produced on film and paper.
At first, the growing collection of companies was called “the CLJII Entertainment Alliance Empire”, which quickly changed to the more elegant “CLJII Empire of Entertainment”, and finally to the simpler “CLJII Empire” (or just “The Empire” − the The itself).
The list of companies topped out at 38, but the unwieldy nature of this conglomerate soon reversed itself, and in 1991 the companies re-integrated until all were grouped under “CLJII Presentations”, with the original two companies as subsidiaries, and with the Justice-enforcement agencies maintained “as necessary for the peace of the world”.
Today, CLJII Publications produces several magazines, story omnibus titles as well as Extra Added Attractions – a magazine devoted to the obscure but fun films of the past; while CLJII Presentations supervises this web-site.
According to the stories of the Future – and who knows how we learned about that? – The Empire is destined for bigger things, as its Special Outer-space Branch evolves into a justice agency of the stars, enforcing laws between planets in the centuries to come, and serving as an interstellar government to bind together worlds as yet unknown.
Don’t think so? Well, we’ll see…
Meanwhile, enjoy all the fun here at CLJII.com – just go back to the Old Drawing Board… .