Barring late delivery (courtesy of UPS' Thanksgiving long weekend), Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #1 is on store shelves now!
It was a genuine pleasure to be invited to add my take to the character's long, rich history, a character who inspired me from a very young age. Hopefully, you'll find something in it to enjoy, as well.
My thanks to Dynamite Entertainment, Alex Ross, Daniel Indro, Simon Bowland, the various hands involved in the coloring, production, and promotion of the book, and most especially to Nick Barucci and Joe Rybandt. This has been a tremendous amount of fun.
Thanks also to the friends and family who offered me encouragement along the way: my wife, Gabrielle; brothers-in-arms Greg Rucka, Brandon Jerwa, Dan Foster, Larry White, Christian Piscopo and probably a dozen other names I'm rudely forgetting at the moment (including Twitter stalwarts Robin LeBlanc, Greg Hyatt, and literally a thousand others); the staff and customers at Olympic Cards & Comics in Lacey, WA; the fine folks at the Corner Café in Raymond, WA (where the bulk of the series has been written, amid generous servings of hot coffee); and to the excellent Brian Truitt, Jason Tudor, William Goodman and Dane Davenport for their continued enthusiasm for this project (and many others I've worked on).
And most especially to my father, Kurt Trautmann, who was dragged to the theater to see the 1980 Flash Gordon film, and never once said "ENOUGH, ALREADY." I'm pretty sure there's a medal owed for that.
Here's a preview of the first issue; best if viewed in "fullscreen" mode. Enjoy!
Write a comment
Corey Stockert (Thursday, 15 December 2011 23:29)
Why Hitler? Why would Ming be involved with Hitler and not Stalin? Stalin is by far the most vicious and ruthless dictator of all time, HE KILLED 60 MILLION people. He hate everybody, tortured animals, and his own family. If anyone is merciless it Joesph Stalin and he would be a better fit for Ming to join forces with, so how about writing a story ally those two or even Mao for that matter (for the same reasons).
Thanks for reading this,
Eric Trautmann (Friday, 16 December 2011 12:47)
The short answer is: Ming allied with Stalin isn't the story we wanted to tell.
The longer answer:
First, I'm well aware of the "record" of Stalin, Mao, etc. This isn't a history lesson, it's an adventure story.
Part of the decision to do so is Hitler's appearance in a Filmation animated movie, which provided some inspiration for what we're doing with the book.
Part of the decision comes down to the Nazis are much "pulpier" villains in this context, and the presence of Hitler is striking visually and also requires no explanation for a wider audience. I don't want to spend pages reminding people of Stalin's depredations that I could instead spend on rocket ships, ray guns, alien worlds, crazy adventures, and so on.
As villains in a period piece set in this era, the Soviets don't work. Exhibit A: Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Exhibit B: Do you see Capt. America fighting Stalin in the new movie? No. They don't call 'em Nazis, but he's fighting Nazis.
So, regretfully, Stalin's regime factors into Zarkov's background, but no, we won't be discussing Stalin or Mao any time soon, if ever, or in any great detail.