One of the best-loved comics of the 1980s, Howard Chaykin's science-fiction political satire American Flagg! has been out of print for well over a decade, but plenty of recent comics have appropriated its look and feel.
The first year of the series will reappear in November in two formats, published by Image Comics and Dynamic Forces. There will be two trade paperbacks, as well as a single hardcover that collects the whole thing plus a new 12-page story by Chaykin reintroducing the major characters.
Smart, sarcastic and designed to the nines, Flagg! was way ahead of its time. "I'm pretty proud of it," Chaykin tells PW. "Flagg! was an opportunity to put together everything I wanted to do, reflecting my social, political, moral and ethical quandaries." Chaykin says he began "collating all this material about my obsessions with popular culture: [cartoonists] Alex Toth and John Severin, the great industrial designers, porn actresses, Henry Fonda, rock 'n' roll, television—that's how it came together." He describes the book as a "pile of a young man's obsessions organized into a cohesive whole. And I was looking at it from the perspective of what MTV was doing—the idea of overlapping time."
Then he switches to his TV-pitch voice: "It's The Untouchables meets Westworld at Epcot!"