American Flagg! Finally Joins the Digital Age

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By Todd Allen

FlaggCOLCTD Digital 1 195x300 American Flagg! Finally Joins the Digital AgeThere are some comics that really should have digital editions.  American Flagg! is a 15 minutes into the future classic of dystopian (not _quite_ cyberpunk) science fiction that put Howard Chaykin into the spotlight with First Comics in the early 1980s it’s one of them.  A political satire featuring military industrial complex taking over, cable television influencing political views, the outlawing of sports (leading to an underground basketball league), a talking cat,some Nazis, and a fair amount of sex, Flagg! is a hugely influential book.

Flagg! is about to be released as digital editions over Comixology.  Both as single issues and as a digital tpb containing the first 12 issues.  Warren Ellis is doing an introduction for the series.  A bit of advice: Flagg! is something you probably want to read in chunks.  If you’re interested in sampling this, get issues #1-#3 (the “Hard Times” arc) and read it in one sitting.  I can’t fathom reading Flagg! in single issue installments.

Scroll down past the PR and you’ll find a whopping 14 page preview.  And no, your eyes are not deceiving you: that really says “Mark Thrust Sexus Ranger.”

Official PR:

CHAYKIN’S SEMINAL AMERICAN FLAGG FINALLY AVAILABLE DIGITALLY ON COMIXOLOGY

INCLUDES AN EXCLUSIVE FORWARD BY WARREN ELLIS

June 6th, 2012 – New York, New York – Dynamite Entertainment and comiXology have teamed up to release legendary comic creator Howard Chaykin’s classic American Flagg! digitally across the entire comiXology platform – including iPhoneiPadAndroidKindle Fire andthe Web. Long considered a classic, this digital release also includes a brand new forward by bestselling comic creator and novelist Warren Ellis – available on comiXology. The forward, along with first arc of the American Flagg series marks the beginning of a new era for this groundbreaking masterpiece as it moves into the digital age.

“Bringing the work of a master creator like Howard Chaykin to the forefront of the digital realm defines what comiXology is at it’s very core” says comiXology CEO and Co-Founder David Steinberger “Being able to distribute lost classics to new readers is something we’re striving to continue as we push forward in 2012.”

Lauded for its status as a cult classic and unparalleled in it’s impact on today’s comic scene, Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg! brings it’s unique indie spirit to comiXology and is available for download as individual single issues and as a completed Graphic Novel.

“There are few great comic works as influential and well respected as Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg!  The work is, in my opinion, one of the most important works from the 1980’s.  Howard was ahead of his time with American Flagg!  He was a visionary, and Flagg!, as well as The Shadow and other works show why he is one of the most respected creators in comics.” says Dynamite President and Publisher Nick Barrucci “Offering American Flagg! digitally is ideal in bringing the classic series to a new generation of readers.  We couldn’t be more excited about having both this incredible series by Chaykin with a new forward by Ellis available digitally on comiXology.”

A monumental achievement in modern sequential art, American Flagg tells the story of Reuben Flagg and the world he inhabits following the devastating events of the Year of the Domino. In a future where planet Earth has been torn asunder by a wave of natural disasters and civilization is forced to plot a new course for itself as the United States government flees to Mars, Flagg must deal with all the remaining factions left behind.

“When I first produced American Flagg! back in the early ’80s, I had no idea just how much I got right about the dystopic future careening toward us.  Needless to say, I’m delighted to have the material available digitally,” said legendary series creator Howard Chaykin. “Now get to work, you intellectual-property pirates, thieves, and scumbags–here’s one more thing to steal.”

A welcomed addition to the vast offerings of digital comics available on the comiXology platform, American Flagg continues to stand the test of time decades after it’s original release. Newly recolored and restored, American Flagg! is available for download  as one graphic novel collecting the first twelve issues or individual issues on iPhoneiPadAndroidKindle Fire and the Web as well as the comiXology Digital Storefront program. Colliding with the future it so ably depicted thirty years ago, American Flagg! has never been more widely available to readers – both new and old – than it is today.

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Comments

  1. likefunbutnot says:

    What I’ve always appreciated about Chaykin as an artist is that he draws realistic clothes and hairstyle fashions rather than super-generic afterthoughts as is so common among other artists.

    I’ve only read bits and pieces of American Flagg, and not recently enough to remember it. I’ll have to check out a complete copy at some point.

  2. Ivan Cohen says:

    As one of many comics fans who couldn’t get enough of FLAGG when it first came out, let me say that you absolutely CAN read it in single-issue installments, and it works just great, but you won’t be able to stop with just one.

    (I sometimes think fans of WATCHMEN who came to it post-1987 are missing out on the fun of rereading each individual issue obsessively while waiting for the next one to come out. FLAGG works similarly.)

  3. JohnK (UK) says:

    AMERICAN FLAGG!was so far ahead of its time in 1983 that it’s still ahead of its time in 2012! Wakka Ding Hoy! Wakka Ding Hoy indeed, Howard Victor Chaykin!

  4. Question to comic book creators: is there value in offering single issues of an already completed story?

    My initial thought is that having both the “collection” and the individual issues is a bit confusing to consumers. It’d be like offering Lord of the Rings as either a single purchase novel or by chapter.

    Yes, there’s the price point of individual issues being a one-click purchase, but it’s not like music, where songs can stand on their own. If someone is reading issues 1, 2 and 3…they’re probably gonna read 4.

    I’m wondering if maybe I’m missing something so looking for some creators to give their take here.

  5. My recollection about FLAGG! is that you can probably read the first three issues separately, but the next three get really, really dense. Much better to read them in arcs (three issues each, for the first year at least). And yes, it’s everything you’ve heard.

  6. Wonderful news. This is one of my favorite series ever ever ever.

  7. Michael G says:

    If only they had someone copy-edit the press release to get rid of the four incorrect uses of “it’s” instead of “its”.

  8. These characters are so much fun.

  9. J Davis says:

    As someone who eagerly bought these when they first came out a million years ago, I can tell you this book was WAY ahead of its time. Great characters, crazy plotlines, sexy art…and all that stuff about the Plex running Earth from Mars prefigured a lot of the more wacked-out contemporary political conspiracy theory (non-David Icke variety). And then Chaykin went on to The Shadow and freaked everybody out with that blowjob scene…AWESOME.

  10. Synsidar says:

    If only they had someone copy-edit the press release. . .

    The PR also repeatedly used the word “forward” instead of “foreword”.

    SRS

  11. I read FLAGG! in monthly installments when First initially published it. Worked just fine — because it was _so_ fresh, _so_ vibrant, and unique, absolutely unique … I couldn’t wait to devour each issue as it arrived, and I eagerly awaited next installment to learn what would happen next (this was before the days of Information Overload). I had previously followed Chaykin’s career into such byways as EMPIRE (with Chip Delaney), but FLAGG! was where Chaykin shifted into overdrive and really *KLIK*ed with me. Re-read the series about five years ago and it held up beautifully for me. Highly, highly recommended …

  12. Flagg got me back into comics when I was in college and really opened the door for me in terms of showing that maintream comics didn’t have to be just super-heroes and could be satirical and adult. It was exciting to wait for each issue to come out.

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