Saturday, March 16, 2013

Flash Gordon Archives!

I finally broke down and picked up the Flash Gordon Archives from Dark Horse. These volumes have been available for a few years now, but I've always found some reason or other to steer clear. The recent surge of interest around here in all matters King Features and especially the Phantom and Mandrake the Magician got me to thinking anew about Alex Raymond's great characters.

So they arrived a few days ago, all save the first volume which on back order and will show up next month  hopefully. To be honest it's the second and third volumes which hold the greatest interest for me.

The second showcases the King Comics year and the work of greats like Al Williamson, Reed Crandall, Wally Wood, Gil Kane, and others including a few issues of classic Raymond reprints too. It's an uneven but vivid collection which I'll have more to comment upon when I sit down and read these comics, some of which I've been waiting many decades to do.

The material in the the third highlights the work of Pat Boyette mostly during Flash's Charlton tenure. These are highly idiosyncratic renderings of the classic heroes and not everyone cottons to them, but I'm personally glad Boyette's work is getting a broader audience for whatever reason.

The final two volumes pick up the series some years later in the late 70's when spurred by the Sam Jones movie Western under both its Gold Key and Whitman labels gives us the longest running Flash Gordon series of stories ever. The artwork is mostly by Carlos Garzon, and to my  eye is quite attractive. I picked up most of these at the time, but traded them away for some reason years ago. It's neat to have them back.

I'll have more to say after I tear into these volumes.

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  1. how did I miss these? Especially the Charlton one with Boyette? Most definitely on my list of "gotta find...gotta have!"

    1. Happy to bring them to your attention. There's a remarkable amount of Charlton material getting reprinted these days, admittedly most of it is Ditko, but still we have Sam Glanzman's Tarzan stuff later next week out from Dark Horse, and the oddball story shows up in anthologies off and on these days.

      We need desperately a collection of Glanzman's and Gill's Hercules, as well as all the Action Heroes really.

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    2. All of Ditko's Captain Atom, Blue beetle, and the Question have been collected in Action Heroes Archives 1 & 2.

    3. Yep. Ditko's stuff is getting well preserved. Guys like Glanzman, Morisi, Bill Montes, Ernie Bache, Jack Keller, Rocke Mastroserio, and even Dick Giordano much less so. I still think a Judomaster collection by Frank McLaughlin would look very modern, at least relatively so in today's market.

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    4. I would love an Archive-quality Thunderbolt, Sarge Steel, Peacemaker, and Judomaster. They could probably get it done in just 2-3 volumes depending on page count. I'm still missing a handful of Sarge Steel and Judomaster issues.


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