Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull issue 1

Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull
First Comics, 1986
Issue 1 (May 1986)
art: Rafael Kayanan and Alfredo Alcala, story: Gerry Conway

In 1986 indie comics publisher First Comics, located in Chicago, obtained the rights to the Michael Moorcock property 'Hawkmoon'.

(My review of the Hawkmoon series is available here).

First Comics devoted four issues to 'The Jewel in the Skull', the inaugural volume in the Hawkmoon series, issuing them bimonthly over the span of May - November 1986.

While Gerry Conway's scripting of the four issues is not particularly effective - chunks of the book's plot are jettisoned, in favor of belaboring tangential plot points - the bimonthly schedule meant that the Filipino artists assigned to the comics could produce some outstanding artwork.

The lead artist was Rafael Kayanan, and Hawkmoon was one of his first major assignments for an American publisher. Kayanan has since gone on to become very successful as an artist for major publishers like DC and Marvel.

Inking Kayanan's art was none other than the great Alfedo Alcala.

The one major drawback to this series is the color printing. While it appears that First Comics did not use the Flexographic process, there is no denying that the color separations in 'The Jewel in the Skull' are less than optimal, with too many pages having a murky appearance that I can only partially rectify in my scans.

If ever an 80s comics series deserved to be reissued in a graphic novel compilation, one taking advantage of modern methods for re-doing color separations, it's these Hawkmoon comics. Until then, I'm going to post scans of each of the four issues in 'The Jewel in the Skull'.

1 comment:

DeadSpiderEye said...

Read the books when I was younger, pretty trippy stuff. The comic version comes across a little tame by comparison. Tried to get back into 'em recently but can't help but draw comparisons between Moorcock and Burroughs.

I think they'd be excellent for the CGI treatment.