Eagle Original Adventures Volume 1–Preorder NOW!

It is coming! And from one of my favorite publishers, MOONSTONE!  However, I’ve noticed a few odd things. It is vital that a certain, extremely realistic, threshold be passed for pre-orders for the book to be printed.  There are a few links such as WESTFIELD COMICS and HEAVY INK that are offering it.  However, some of the big companies such as Mile High Comics and MyComicShop.com do NOT have it on site.  Stranger still, there is no mention of it on Moonstone’s own page!  The pre-order is underway and it is Diamond code MAR111192.  Order it at your local shop by number, or ask your favorite online retailer for it by name and code.  Do it now…I promise you will not be disappointed by this volume. It collects the first 6 issues of the original series and contains a few nifty bonus items from the Vokes archives!!  And there is my favorite Skull Faced Avatar of Agression, DEATH’S HEAD / DEATH’S DARK ANGEL…right there on the cover. 

Be sure to let retailers know you want EAGLE.  Because I’ve seen some of the new material, and this will pave the way for you getting to gawk at the Kung Fu and Mystic Magic of Vokes all the sooner!


Eagle – The Original Adventures Volume 1

After many moons of waiting I was rewarded with the arrival of the first volume of EAGLE: THE ORIGINAL ADVENTURES by Neil Vokes, Rich Rankin and Jack Herman!

I have a long history with Eagle really, it came out during the big Black and White comics boom and instantly caught my eye because it had so many elements I enjoyed. Kung Fu? Check! Mystic Mayhem? Check! Dystopian science fiction hard edged noir? Check! A big honking purple guy called DEATH’S HEAD?? Oh check yes… They had me hook line and sinker. The initial 12 issues stand as one of the best indies of the 80s when read as a stand alone unit. Back when a double sized issue meant something, #12 of Eagle was a king sized treat amidst a slumping big 2 “event” period. Also, I have some bittersweet memories of reading this book when a particularly close relative was sick and in the hospital. You know you really ENJOY something when you find yourself digging for something to read while you sit up all night at a bedside.
Eagle was that book.
Some years later I met Neil via the Eurotrash Paradise and I remember just typing “Neil “EAGLE” Vokes? Holy CRAP!! Of course, he has done lots of other stuff, but he’ll always be Eagle’s proud papa to me. We became good friends…but hey, I can say this without bias and be honest. I was a fan of this guy long before I knew him as the cherub faced man with the devilish dervish hands.

So…what is in this book and why do you NEED it? Well, you need it because if you are a comic fan and remember the book at all, revisiting the early issues will bring you back to not just the story, but the very best of that period of collecting comics. There were some excellent first issues coming out back then when creators (many that would go on to be quite famous) were cutting loose and putting out books that they personally felt and wanted to present. Grendel comes to mind, but I’ve long placed Eagle and the first Capital City (!!) issue of Whisper as the tops of the heap. You get the first 3 issues, which introduce Richard Eagle, Wulfgar, Acacia, Alarik and the rest of the crew in fine fashion. Fans of Neil’s work will find these books very interesting if they have not seen them-while they look different in some ways, there is a raw energy in every panel that he has harnessed and refined over the years. But they also feel just right-with tons of the trademarked Vokes fight choreography (the man sure does love his kung fu flicks) and a weird sense of ANYTHING can happen in the next panel that you don’t often see.

Oh, and there are ninja. I love ninja. Anything ninja is good.

But the package doesn’t stop at the three issues (which are full issues, not the independent books you see today that have about 14 pages of story and a ton of house ads for other 14 page books full of house ads for the book you just paid for)…no, it features a lot of bonus material. This is the Criterion DVD release of Eagle!

First up is The History of Eagle-a fascinating montage of editorials from the original books that were written by Rich Rankin and annotated by Neil Vokes. I love it because not only do you get a hands on history, but one that progressed with the rise and fall of the book and the independent comics market as well. From early success to cancellation notice, it really is a compelling read beyond the subject matter. I always looked forward to the original editorials… I knew who Siri was a very very long time before she would be giving my kids juice boxes in her new home. Those wacky Eaglers were always really upfront and made the editorial parts of the book a lot of fun to read.

After the main presentation is a selection of artwork that includes THE Vokes / Rankin Bruce Lee shot I’ve always enjoyed so much, the first 3 E-Book covers, an amazing Eagle’s Girls piece by Neil and Michael Avon Oeming from 1995, a great 1986 Christmas card (Eisner would love that chimney!) and some concept art for one of the “next phase” Eagle tales. This includes an image of Richard Eagle done in 2001 that I find is one of the most compelling images, very quiet and very strong, that Neil has put to paper.

Then (yes…there is more) there is an essay about those “next phase” books! Eagle: The New Adventures is an essay on how the original series was created and the things that have happened in between the now and then of Eagle’s next appearance. Most excitingly is a print version of the first pages of Eagle:Legacy…and this is a FANTASTIC knock down drag out battle that makes me happy with every little image. Comparing it to the issues that you just read is amazing-Eagle has matured stylistically along with Neil. In many ways I think Eagle will stand as Neil’s real achievement, his earliest works as a professional artist dovetail neatly in this character as he brings all his talents to bear on him. Fight scenes! High Drama! Weird Crackle! Inner Orbscapes! And yes…a wonderful sense of motion in the parts where the characters have to do all that talkin‘ and gesturin‘ will be there as well.

Hey, I’m excited…and I hope that those that haven’t read the book will try it. Or if you enjoyed The Black Forest, The Wicked West, Parliament of Justice or even Neil’s Spidey/Dr. Strange book and want to have some fun reading a book that just doesn’t slow down for a second-check it out.

You can order a copy from LULU.com by clicking HERE or better yet, you can get a signed copy, direct from Neil that will also include a sketch for only 30 dollars (barely more than a copy from Lulu.com after shipping by the way). Contact him at ndv45@comcast.net for details. Or just email him EAGLE LIVES in all caps. He’ll know I sent you.

Also, you can preview the book via Lulu, or check out the new OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE.

Eagle Lives again…good times both looking back and going forwards! Check yer orb at the door and check this book out.

Temporal Redundancy-Richard Eagle Lives!!

A new project in the works that should be keeping me busy is the freshly launched EAGLE LIVES blog called Temporal Redundancy-The Inner Circle Of Richard Eagle. Eagle is one of my all time favorite comics, one that came during the black and white boom of the 80’s, yet managed to keep a place in my imagination for the decades that followed. A mixture of crazed martial arts, science fiction, alternate timelines and name drops and inspiration from many of my own favorite genres and films-Eagle simply ruled the stands in my mind.
In a totally unrelated fashion I met Neil Vokes-via the Eurotrash Paradise. You couldn’t meet a nicer guy with that much talent if you tried, and I think he was a little surprised when on one of my first posts I called him Neil “EAGLE” Vokes. Neil has done a whole lot of stuff (check out the sidebar on the Eagle Lives site for proof) and has finally gone back to what I think of as his home base…Richard Eagle.
Yeah, Eagle is super bad!
Now that is exciting for me as a reader, because I’ve become quite jaded these days and spend more time reading my Essential Marvel books then anything on the stands today-so I’m down for a reason to hit the comic shops again. But even cooler was that I’ve actually become involved in the project. I’ll be updating the Eagle blog in a slew of styles, all of which I think are pretty exciting…. so if you are a comics fan, by all means check it out. You like martial arts movies? You need to see this book. And just wait, nobody draws the weird and wacked out mega mindways of the internal struggle of man vs. orb like Vokes. Believe me on that…you’ll dig it. So go, read it and I’ll be posting more Thriller: A Cruel Picture stuff this weekend as well. I’m super close to a new family arrival, so all engines are go go go!