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Dale Eaglesham Brings the Magic on Shazam

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

Dale Eaglesham began his career at Marvel, where he worked for almost a decade. While there, he worked on titles such as CONAN and THE PUNISHER.

In the late 90s, Dale started working at DC Comics, where he helped launch BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS. He gained a strong fan following for his two-year run on GREEN LANTERN. But he is best known for drawing the critically-acclaimed relaunch of JSA, where he worked alongside superstar writer Geoff Johns. 

Well next week he's joining up with Geoff again, to launch SHAZAM. This book is a long time coming, fans have been clamoring for a SHAZAM book ever since the backup stories in the New52 JLA relaunch. When news broke that Geoff and Dale would be reuniting to launch this book, I couldn't have been happier. As a fan of their JSA run, I'm hoping that they catch "lightning in a bottle" with this book and deliver the SHAZAM book we've all been waiting for.

COMIC LOUNGE: You've been in the industry for over 30 years, what was your first major project? DALE EAGLESHAM: I’d been drawing my own comics stories from the age of nine when, at around 15 years of age, I chanced across a Robert E. Howard novel in a book store. It had a painted Frank  Frazetta cover on it and I could not stop staring at it. I dug deep into my pockets, down to the last penny, down to the pocket lint, to buy that. I was smitten beyond belief. For a decade I drew lot’s of Conan inspired stuff on my own before someone suggested I try and draw Conan comics for a living. I set my sights on Savage Sword of Conan and produced Pin-ups, allowed by eight page Kull stories, and finally, two 50 page stories.

COMIC LOUNGE: Who were some of the artist that inspires you, growing up? EAGLESHAM: Jack Kirby, Frank Frazetta, John Buscema, Burne Hogarth, Berni Wrightson and Barry Windsor Smith.

COMIC LOUNGE: You've worked on so many of my favorite series, two of them being GREEN LANTERN and JSA. Were you a fan of Kyle Rayner before landing that gig? What was your experience like on the book? EAGLESHAM: I was fairly new to DC at that time. In 1996, I landed in the Bat office and did a few projects here and there, including launching GOTHAM KNIGHTS. Following a lot of smaller gigs, I eventually made my way to Green Lantern around 2002. I had read some Kyle Rayner issues and I always liked the happenstance heroes, the ones who take on the role but are completely new to it. Judd Winick had just taken over the book and was introducing a lot of characterization and social issues into the mix. We made a good team. I’ll always be a Lantern fan!

COMIC LOUNGE: Your JSA run was one of my favorites of the series. What was your favorite story during your run? Would you ever like to revisit any of those characters? EAGLESHAM: My favorite JSA story was issue #9, the pancake breakfast story that featured the boxing match between Ted (Wildcat) and his son Tommy. This story signaled the beginning of the Gog story with Kingdom Come Superman appearing at the end. However, it was the much smaller scale mixing of superhero’s with real life hero’s, the fireman, that was the most fun for me. It was so much fun, I convinced Geoff at the end of our run to do a similar small scale issue and end with Stargirl’s “Black Adam Ruined my Birthday”, issue #26. I would revisit these characters at the drop of a hat. They felt like family to miss and I have missed them ever since. I knew that when I stepped away from that book, I would never see their like again. I was right! I hung out with Mr. Terrific briefly in two issues of THE TERRIFICS and I loved every second of it.

COMIC LOUNGE: You previously worked with Geoff Johns on JSA and your reuniting to work on SHAZAM. Is working with Geoff again one of the reasons you took on  the book? EAGLESHAM: Hands down, that’s the reason. In this biz, you often part with favorite creators saying , “Hey, let’s hook up on something again real soon.” Next thing you know, a decade has gone by.  I read that Geoff was going to be doing SHAZAM and I sent him a note offering my services without much expectation. It actually worked out and I am so thrilled to be working with Geoff again!

COMIC LOUNGE: Were you been a fan of SHAZAM before taking on this project?

EAGLESHAM: I actually knew very little about Shazam. I always liked the magic vibe of this character, and the fact that Shazam looked like an adult but was actually a kid. I knew that Geoff on tis title was going to be just amazing.

COMIC LOUNGE: What are some things we can expect from the new series? EAGLESHAM: You will behold a vista of adventure that will make Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings seem boring.

COMIC LOUNGE: How long are you planning on staying on the book? EAGLESHAM: You can never know for sure in this biz but the concepts Geoff has put together can go on and on. I’ll be on this for a quite a while.

COMIC LOUNGE: Are there any characters you would love to work on in the future? EAGLESHAM: At this point, I’d be more interested in revisiting characters like the JSA or Secret Six. The Six are so much fun, I hope I get another crack at them.  I have a pitch for Stanley and his Monster but that will have to wait.

COMIC LOUNGE: Are there any projects you're currently working on that you can talk about or tease? EAGLESHAM: It’s going to be all Shazam for a while!

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