By Todd Allen
The comment section seemed pretty happy with the announcement that Howard Chaykin was going to be doing Buck Rogers for Hermes Press, so I laid hands on Dan Herman (the Publisher at Hermes) and got a little more information for you.
Hermes has a five year license for Buck Rogers comics, which means the license for a new comic as well as reprint rights for the previous comic books, like the Gold Key series based on the television show and, yes, some Murphy Anderson work from the early ’50s. Part of their proposal was a “back to basics” new series. Herman, as a publisher who does a lot of archival/historical books, isn’t a big fan of changing the formula.
That’s where Howard comes in. Herman had originally commissioned Chaykin to do a cover for a collection of the old Flint Dille/David Marconi/Dan Speigel “Agent 13” graphic novels that came out from TSR back in the mid-to-late 1980s. Herman knew Chaykin had a fondness for ’30s and ’40s material. He also knew Chaykin’s work with Ironwolf/Cody Starbuck/Star Wars. Chaykin liked the idea.
Herman described the series as a “riff” on the original series and tells me Chaykin went back and read the two original pulp prose stories and roughly the first 10 years of the strip to get ready. Look to the left and the promotional poster does look like the classic period of the strip.
This will come out in normal comic book format and Herman is thinking May 2013 is a likely target date. Herman says Chaykin is initially working on 4 issues and when those are completed they’ll have a look at it and see where to go from there. He wants to evaluate the work as a whole, not piecemeal. Also factoring into this approach is Herman’s philosophy that “you let Howard do his job.” He knows who he hired, so he’s getting out of the way.
Figure we’ll hear a little more about this around the beginning of next year.