There is a Kickstarter fundraiser currently taking place that I really wanted to draw everyone’s attention to. Writer Don McGregor and artist Trevor Von Eeden are attempting to raise the funding to publish their brand new graphic novel Sabre: The Early Future Years. I’ve already written about how much I enjoy Von Eeden’s artwork in my July 24th blog post. Because of my appreciation for his artwork, I’d really like to see this project get funded. McGregor and Von Eeden’s target is $17,000 to me met by September 9, 2013. As of this writing, they have only raised $6,631, approximately one third of their goal. I did pledge a few dollars, but due to my current work and financial situation, I wasn’t able to offer too much. So I’ve been promoting the hell out of this, really hoping that others can also pitch in. Here is the link to their page on Kickstarter where you can pledge funds:
And below is a preview of Trevor Von Eeden’s artwork for Sabre: the Early Future Years. It features coloring by George Freeman, who previously worked with Von Eeden on his two volume graphic novel The Original Johnson.
In addition to being a fan of Trevor’s art, I also greatly enjoy Don McGregor’s writing. He has a very distinctive style of prose, narration, and dialogue, a real sophistication to his plots and scripts. In the past, McGregor has worked on a number of critically lauded, groundbreaking stories.
In the 1970s, while at Marvel Comics, McGregor did well regarded work with the character of Black Panther in the pages of Jungle Action. He also had an exception run on Amazing Adventures, chronicling the saga of Killraven, a freedom fighter struggling to overthrow Martian invaders in an apocalyptic future. Debuting in Amazing Adventures #18, the Killraven / War of the Worlds feature was initially conceived by Roy Thomas & Neal Adams, inspired by the H.G. Wells’ novel. However, with the character’s fourth appearance in issue #21, McGregor took over as the series’ writer. He worked with several different artists over the next few issues. And then an up-and-coming P. Craig Russell became the regular illustrator with #27, producing stunningly vibrant, bizarre artwork. The two collaborated on Killraven until Amazing Adventures was cancelled at issue #39 in 1976. McGregor and Russell reunited to craft a coda to their run which saw print as the Killraven: Warrior of the Worlds graphic novel in 1983.
It was in 1978 that McGregor teamed with artist Paul Gulacy to create the first Sabre graphic novel, which was released by up-and-coming independent company Eclipse Comics. In the early 1980s, an ongoing Sabre series was also published by Eclipse, lasting 14 issues. Comics Bulletin is currently running a multi-part interview with McGregor looking at the origins of Sabre. Here’s a link to the first installment:
While at Eclipse, McGregor also wrote a pair of noir mysteries, Detectives Inc. The first graphic novel, A Remembrance of Threatening Green, was drawn by the talented Marshall Rogers, with the equally amazing Gene Colan illustrating A Terror of Dying Dreams. McGregor and Colan later re-teamed on a mammoth 25-chapter Black Panther serial “Panther’s Quest” which ran in Marvel Comics Presents. I’d like to see that one collected in a trade paperback.
Those original Sabre and Detectives Inc. stories have subsequently been reprinted by other publishers such as Image and IDW. Those collected editions are well worth seeking out.
So, having gone into all this detail about McGregor’s amazing writing, I really hope that I’ve piqued some interest, and that people will show their support for his latest project. Separately, McGregor and Von Eeden have each rafted truly exception work in the past; together I expect that they make an amazing team. I definitely hope that one day soon Sabre: The Early Future Years will be published. I’ll keep you all updated on their progress.
September 10, 2013 Update: Unfortunately, the Kickstarter fundraiser did not meet its goal, only reaching $11,618 of the needed $17,000. I was really looking forward to seeing the new Sabre graphic novel. I am going to keep in touch with Don McGregor on Facebook, and see if he decided to attempt another Kickstarter campaign in the future, or perhaps go another route. Hopefully, one way or another, the book will make it into print in the near future.