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.