Review: American Flagg! Vol.1

Over the years Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg! has picked up an incredible rep.  It’s an influence on nearly every major creator working in comics today.  It’s also been out of print for about 20 years.

So it’s nice to finally get the chance to read it, and to discover that it actually does live up to the hype.  First and foremost the art in the book is incredible.  Chaykin constantly experiments with layouts and balloon placements, creating something that looks totally unique from anything that came before (although it has since spawned many immitators).  

And the writing is equally strong, although it is very clearly a product of its time.  It should come as no surprise that the comic’s cynical, corporate owned dystopia came into existence a year after the release of Blade Runner.  But Chaykin’s zeal for the material still makes the story feel unique, even after 25 years of derivative works.

There is a clear reason American Flagg! is considered to be one of the most important comics in the medium’s history, and it really is required reading for any fans.

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