Beau Smith (born December 17, 1954) is an American comic book writer and columnist who wrote the comic Aliens: Tourist Season for Dark Horse Comics. In the comics field, Smith best known for his particularly masculine-themed work for DC Comics, Image Comics, IDW Publishing and as vice president of marketing for Eclipse Comics in the 1980s.
A lifelong resident of West Virginia, Smith is a graduate of Marshall University in journalism. Smith got his start in the comics field as a letterhack, having written over 400 letters to various comics, and actually was solicited to send letters based on early preview copies. Smith's first professional comics writing job was with Pacific Comics, but the company went out of business prior to publishing the story.
Beau Smith's first published work was for Eclipse Comics in 1985, a series of one- to two-page backup features in the Scout comic (created by fellow West Virginia native Timothy Truman). This was followed by a collaboration titled "The Dogs of Danger" with Henry Flint in the title The Swords of Texas. The next feature for Eclipse was a character called Beau LaDuke, the character bearing a striking resemblance to Beau Smith himself. The Beau LaDuke character had a backup feature in Scout: War Shaman #13-#16. Smith's next work was a collaboration with Chuck Dixon on a revival of The Black Terror in a crime noir tale. This is the first of many collaborations with Chuck Dixon, who would partner with Smith to write stories for DC Comics in the future.
Smith's first published work for DC was in Green Lantern Quarterly #8. Smith's first full length story for DC was Guy Gardner: Warrior #20, which was the conclusion of the "Emerald Fallout" story, which was a follow-up to the "Emerald Twilight" storyline that had removed Hal Jordan from the role of Green Lantern. Smith had the challenge of developing a new direction for Guy Gardner that did not include the use of a power ring that had been part of his mythos from the creation of the character: Smith was editorially mandated to give morphing powers to Guy Gardner, which he wasn't very pleased with.
Beau Smith served as IDW's vice president of sales and marketing until February 1 of 2005, but has continued to write comics for the publisher. His original creations include Wynonna Earp, a modern day descendant of Wyatt Earp, and Frank Cobb, a former Secret Service agent with a lack of direction and a strong drive to protect innocents. IDW published the complete Wynonna Earp trade, collecting all previous appearances in a single volume. In 2006 Cobb: Off the Leash was awarded the #3 position on Scoop's top ten comics of 2006. Cobb: Off the Leash was also reprinted in a magazine format collected edition in 2007. In February 2008, IDW will be releasing the Smith penned original story set in the 24 mythology entitled 24: Cold Warriors.
In addition to his work writing and marketing comic books Smith has also maintained a regular opinion column at Comics Bulletin titled "Busted Knuckles", containing opinions of current events in the comic book industry, reviews, recommendations, the "Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week" and the "Manly Comic Cover" of the week, the later of which is the subject of a good-natured rivalry for the manliest cover with Chuck Dixon's website www.Dixonverse.net Smith has also maintained a long term How-To column about the comic business in Sketch Magazine, entitled "From the Ranch". Those columns were collected in 2007 for a book entitled Beau Smith's No Guts, No Glory:How To Market Yourself In Comics. Smith has also written business columns for Westfield Comics, Entertainment Retailer, Wizard Magazine, Comic Book Business, Comics & Games Retailer, and The Comics Buyer's Guide. Smith ventured into writing video games for such titles as Maximo: Beauty Is Only Sword Deep from Dreamwave Studios, and Maximo vs. Army of Zin from Capcom Video Games.