With Further Ado #270: Chaykin’s Fargo is on ZOOP

I knew some of these entrepreneurs before they started ZOOP. I liked their old start-up, and I like their “new” crowdfunding start-up ZOOP. (Although, it’s not that new anymore.) They are doing so many things right.

Added to the “doing things right” list is their current effort showcasing Howard Chaykin’s adaptation of John Benteen’s Fargo: Hell On Wheels.

This will be a 96+ page prestige format hardcover graphic novel adaptation of one of Howard Chaykin’s favorite characters from men’s adventure paperbacks of the sixties and seventies. Chaykin writes and draws the entire book, along with the extraordinary colorist Yen Nitro and of course his longtime letterer/designer, Ken Bruzenak.

I Never Heard of This Character

This comic adapts an adventure of soldier-of-fortune, Neal Fargo, who appeared in the ‘Fargo’ paperback series by John Benteen.

Michael Polis of Atomic Toybox is excited for this one. “Fargo is a bit of Indiana Jones, Conan and Jack Reacher wrapped into one,” said Polis. “I’m thrilled to be working with the incredibly talented Howard V. Chaykin and my partner at Gizmoe Press Mr. Michael Stradford on such a great adaptation.”

In the past, other folks have described Fargo as “a combination of Robert E. Howard’s Conan mixed with Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch.”

He was a big man with wide shoulders, narrow hips and the long legs of a born and bred horseman. His hair was close-cropped and snow white, though he was only in his thirties. He had grown up hard and never looked back. He’d punched cattle, rough-necked in the oil fields—even fought in the prize rings. He joined up with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and found his true calling—combat. His face was so battered, scarred, weathered and remarkably ugly that it was almost handsome. He drew helplessly admiring looks from the women and cautious, wary looks from the men. He was a soldier of fortune, for sale to the highest bidder.

Supporters of the campaign are in for massive treats, as there are art contributions to the book by a murderer’s row of artists, including Gary Frank, Butch Guice, Eduardo Risso, Denys Cowan, Mahmud Asrar, Ron Garney and lots more, with a variant cover provided by Dave Johnson!

There’s a lot of Chaykin-y efforts out there. Don’t forget just a couple of weeks ago I wrote about his Comic Book U class (with Mark Waid) here. That one is coming up fast.

And Chaykin also supplied a wonderful cover to J.C. Vaughn’s vampire comic, Al Capone, Vampire. It’s also a crowdfunded project, but the first issue – with a Howard Chaykin cover – went on sale in comic shops last week. The whole series is fun (I support this one on Kickstarter) but this issue, with this captivating cover, is really something.