Gem City Comic Con takes place in Dayton next weekend. Bob Corby of Backporch Comics and SPACE is generously sponsoring a table for Sunday Comix, the Columbus, Ohio cartoonists group of which he and I are both members. I'll be travelling there Saturday morning to put in some time behind the table. Actually, the real reason I'm going is because I haven't attended a mainstream comics convention for nearly three years, the most recent being the last pre-Wizard World Mid-Ohio Con, and, most importantly, there are a couple of my favorite artists scheduled to attend and I really want to meet them.One of these is Howard Chaykin, and I've been pondering lately which one--and only one--comic I wish to shove in his face and demand that he affix a signature to. Among the list of candidates, from the works of Mr. Chaykin littering my collection of comics are
- American Flagg!--probably his most famous work, and sort of a cliche choice if you think about it.
- The Shadow--this four issue mini-series brought the 1930's pulp adventurer out of retirement and into the modern world of the 1980's
- Blackhawk--this reinvention of a Golden Age character kept the legendary pilot in his WWII milieu but brought a 1980's, and distinctly Chaykin, sensibility to the tale
- Midnight Men--a quite frankly unremarkable four issue mini-series from Marvel's Epic imprint. Without rereading it, I couldn't even tell you what its about.
- Marvel Premiere #32--featuring the debut of space-faring adventurer Monark Moonstalker
Power & Glory is an often hilarious dark comedy that satirizes the super-hero genre, and 1990s pop culture and politics while providing generous helpings of the complex, multi-layered plotting and witty, fast paced dialogue, as well as the over the top sex and violence that fans had come to expect from Howard Chaykin. There's even a connection to American Flagg! snuck in on the very last page.
I happen to have two copies of the first issue. It was released with two covers and I bought both of them. (Hey, don't judge me, man. It was the 90s. I was young and didn't know any better. Everybody was doin' it. We didn't realize we were helping the industry commit suicide.) So, I can get one signed and stick it in a bag for posterity and still have a copy to read again in the future.