It’s still important to take things Eazy, even in the middle of a war! Next year the Treasury of British Comics will publish the remastered earliest (mis)adventures of one of comics’ most iconic characters – Major Eazy, from Weekly war comic Battle, created by Alan Hebden and Carlos Ezquerra.
This is the first time the early Major Eazy stories have all been gathered together for fans for the laconic anti-hero by Rebellion, and its experienced reprographics team has also restored all of the strip’s colour pages, which have never before been reprinted.
(Titan Books previously published Major Eazy: Heart of Iron in 2012 and solicited Major Eazy: The African Campaign in 2013, but it wasn’t published. The company abruptly abandoned its plans for further Battle collections – I was editing some and no explanation was offered as to why. Creators received no royalties for these collections).
Created by Alan Hebden and Carlos Ezquerra, Major Eazy is a laconic, laid-back British Army officer during World War Two, who has a total disregard for authority or protocol.
His look inspired by actor James Coburn and his performance in The Magnificent Seven, Eazy was one of the most popular characters from Battle, his irreverence and coolness under pressure earning him legions of fans as he went on to command the band of convict commandos know as the Rat Pack.
As Carlos related in an interview For Colonel Marbles Battle site back in 2002, the strip was his first for Battle, the artist moving on from working on DC Thomson’s Wizard, on the strip titled “Chained To His Word”.
“Ideas came from the two of us, that’s the way I’ve always worked,” Carlos said of the character’s development. “The sniper rifle and the Bentley were Alan’s, but I think he was thinking of a more classical Bentley than the model I finished drawing.”
Major Eazy: The Italian Campaign will take readers from the pulse-pounding invasion of Sicily to the German surrender at Brenner Pass, collecting all of his adventures in the Italian theatre.
This 128-page paperback collection is the first in a two-volume series that will collect Eazy’s campaigns, and will invade shelves on 4th March 2021, retailing at £14.99.
Alan Hebden has created a wide variety of classic comic characters, including Major Eazy and El Mestizo for Battle along with artist Carlos Ezquerra. He is also the co-creator of “Fighting Mann” and “Wardog” for Battle with artist Cam Kennedy, and “Meltdown Man” for 2000AD.
His extensive writing credits include the brilliant “Mind Wars” for Starlord, “Death Plant” and “Return Of the Mean Team” for 2000AD and “The Tower King” for Eagle.
He also wrote a variety of “Future Shocks” and much, much more, including “Death Squad” for Battle, writing as “Mark Andrew”, also being published in a collection from Rebellion next year.
Carlos Ezquerra was the legendary co-creator of Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog and many more all-time classics for 2000AD. Originally from Zaragoza, Carlos, who was born in 1947, began his career in Barcelona, drawing westerns and war stories for Spanish publishers. Breaking into the UK market on romance titles like Valentine and Mirabelle, he was head-hunted after working for DC Thomson for the new IPC title Battle Picture Weekly in the 1970s, where he drew “Rat Pack”, “Major Eazy” and “El Mestizo”.
In 1976, he was asked to create a new character, the future lawman Judge Dredd, for a new weekly science fiction comic called 2000AD. Thanks to his enduring partnership with John Wagner, Dredd was to become one of the world’s most recognisable comic book characters, with Carlos there to apply his inimitable style to some of the biggest stories in the strip’s history, such as “The Apocalypse War”, “Necropolis” and “Origins”.
Thanks to Dredd, as well as his co-creation of Strontium Dog, created for Starlord in 1978, and his work on the adaptation for 2000AD of Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat with Kelvin Gosnell, and thousands upon thousands of comic book pages, Carlos has rightly been lauded by readers and creators alike.
• Major Eazy: The Italian Campaign hits shelves on 4th March 2021, retailing at £14.99 – the first of two volumes
Battle Picture Weekly and “Major Eazy” © Rebellion Publishing Ltd