Beginning in January, Erik Larsen and Image Comics are undertaking an experiment in reviving of public domain comics characters of the Golden Age. With The Next Issue Project, Larsen and an array of modern comics creators will publish what they imagine as being the next issue of several series from that bygone era of the 1930s-1950s. Contributors include Mike Allred, Kyle Baker, Frank Cho, Andy Kuhn, Howard Chaykin, Steve Niles, Phil Hester, Jay Faerber, Steve Gerber, Jim Valentino and many more.
The first such issue of the ambitious project continues the Fox Features Syndicate anthology series Fantastic Comics, last published in 1941, with 2008's issue #24 by Joe Casey and Bill Sienkiewicz. The writer of G.I. Joe, America's Elite, Gødland, and the upcoming Krash Bastards graphic novel, Joe Casey spoke with CBR news about his contribution to Next Issue Project.
Erik Larsen asked me, Casey said of how he became involved in The Next Issue Project. Now, when Erik asks I usually say 'yes.' Mainly because he knows the kinds of projects that he thinks I'd get a kick out of doing.
An additional incentive to sign on was the identity of his esteemed collaborator. Working with Bill Sienkiewicz is the realization of a dream I've had since I was in junior high school, being blown away by his work on 'New Mutants,' said Casey.
Casey and Sienkiewicz's character in the anthology is Flip Falcon. As the caption in the first panel of the story I was sent reads: 'Inventor of the Fourth Dimension Machine, Flip Falcon is able to project himself into time-space, traveling to any era -- any place,' Really, what else needs to be said...?
Like some of the other creators enlisted by Larsen, Casey had no familiarity with the character he would be writing. . Then again, I really didn't know who the hell Cable was and I wrote that character for two years, Casey remarked.
While The Next Issue Project plays on the conceit that each comic is the next published issue of the original, long-gone series, Casey and Sienkiewicz did not hold to the styles or conventions of the original Flip Falcon stories. Erik laid out the only restriction (if you could call it that): our story is six pages long, same as the original we were sent, Casey said. Other than that, I came up with my own stuff and hopefully Bill's art will take it to some other level (which is what he usually does).
I don't think anyone's waiting with bated breath how I approach this particular character. That provides a lot of freedom, said Casey of the unique aspect of approaching a Golden Age character that has been all but forgotten. Subsequently, I took a fistful of drugs and poured my mind out into the story. Hopefully, Bill will match my insanity with his usual visual genius.
Asked what he took away from working on the Project, Casey answered, So far, I take away one hell of a hangover....
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