Thirty years ago this October, Chuck Dixon and Andy Kubert's Airboy #50 ended on a cliffhanger that many thought would never be resolved as Eclipse canceled the title. But now, that story will be told in the first of what Dixon hopes will be a new era for him and Airboy.
After raising over $10,000 via Indiegogo, It's Alive will pick-up the series - with Dixon once again writing - with the Airboy ongoing resuming this October with #51. While Andy Kubert's a little busy with DC's Superman Giant, artist Brent McKee and colorist/letterer Jok is stepping up to work with Dixon on this continuation.
But yes, we here you out there - "Who is Airboy?" Airboy is a 1940s air aviation hero from comic books. After a near 100-issue run, the character and title were mothballed for decades before Dixon and Eclipse Comics revived the character in 1986. In the new, modern story, Dixon introduced a new Airboy - the son of the original - that fought 1980s dictators, pirates, the U.S.S.R., and others. And now with Airboy #51, the aviation hero is setting his sights on apartheid in Affrica.
Dixon spoke with Newsarama about Airboy #51, from bridging the gap after all these years to the story he's telling and his hopes for the future. It's Alive Airboy #51 goes through April 21, and is currently aiming for stretch goals to include more issues, a bigger format, a back-up feature, and more.
Newsarama: Chuck, this seems like a long time coming - your first major run in comics was on Eclipse's Airboy, and now you're picking that up here with It's Alive - and keeping the numbering going. How did it feel when it went from this "could happen" to realizing this will definitely happen?
Chuck Dixon: Pretty revved up. I’ve had the follow-up story to Airboy #50 rattling around in my head all this time.
Nrama: I've read interviews and been at panels where you've talked about your Airboy run fondly. You had a one-shot in 2011 with Moonstone, but has the idea of continuing the series like you are now ever been seriously broached before?
Dixon: I also did a mini-series at Antarctic of the Golden Age Airboy. But this is really the first time anyone approached me about continuing the series. Airboy fans owe a debt of gratitude to Drew Ford for coming up with this and organizing the campaign to bring Airboy back.
Nrama: So this new run starts off with Airboy #51, picking up from where you left off. What's going on in the story at this point?
Dixon: At the end of Airboy #50, Davy Nelson Jr, the son of the Golden Age Airboy has been cast out of the weird, hellish dimension ruled by his arch-nemesis Misery. He’s lost somewhere on Earth and his miracle plane, Birdie, is missing as well. Valkyrie, Skywolf scan the globe for him while Airboy becomes involved in his own adventure in South Africa. This story takes place in 1989 so we’re talking apartheid.
Nrama: How long have you had this story in your mind to tell?
Dixon: Three decades.
Nrama: Do you plan to do more after #51?
Dixon: Absolutely! Any support we get beyond our goal goes into more content for future issues. My goal is five issues to finish the story of Davy Nelson Jr and introduce a new Airboy for the 21st Century.
Nrama: Can we get your old Airboy editor/sometimes collaborator Tim Truman in on this in some form or fashion for old times sake?
Dixon: I don’t see why not.
Nrama: Big picture, what are your goals for Airboy #51 and beyond?
Dixon: To reward the patience of Airboy’s many fans and re-introduce him to the comics world for brand new fans to discover.
Nrama: And now that you've got this piece of luck on your side, what's the next big dream project you want to tell the universe you want to do?
Dixon: My default dream project would always be a western.