Alex Raymond

Alexander Gillespie Raymond (October 2, 1909 – September 6, 1956)[2] was an American cartoonist, best known for creating Flash Gordon for King Features in 1934. The strip was subsequently adapted into many other media, from a series of movie serials (1936–1940) to a 1970s television series and the 1980 feature film.

Raymond's father encouraged his love of drawing from an early age, leading him to become an assistant illustrator in the early 1930s on strips such as Tillie the Toiler and Tim Tyler's Luck. Towards the end of 1933, Raymond created the epic Flash Gordon science-fiction comic strip to compete with the popular Buck Rogers comic strip and, before long, Flash was the more popular strip of the two. Raymond also worked on the jungle adventure saga Jungle Jim and spy adventure Secret Agent X-9 concurrently with Flash, though his increasing workload caused him to leave Secret Agent X-9 to another artist by 1935. He left the strips in 1944 to join the Marines, saw combat in the Pacific Ocean theater in 1945 and was demobilized in 1946. Upon his return from serving during World War II, Raymond created and illustrated the much-heralded Rip Kirby, a private detective comic strip. In 1956, Raymond was killed in a car crash at the age of 46.[3]

He became known as "the artist's artist"[4] and his much-imitated style can be seen on the many strips he illustrated. Raymond worked from live models furnished by Manhattan's Walter Thornton Agency, as indicated in "Modern Jules Verne," a profile of Raymond published in the Dell Four-Color Flash Gordon #10 (1942), showing how Thornton model Patricia Quinn posed as a character in the strip.

Numerous artists have cited Raymond as an inspiration for their work, including comic artists Jack Kirby, Bob Kane, Russ Manning, and Al Williamson. George Lucas cited Raymond as a major influence for Star Wars. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1996. Maurice Horn stated that Raymond unquestionably possessed "the most versatile talent" of all the comic strip creators. He has also described his style as "precise, clear, and incisive."[5] Carl Barks described Raymond as a man "who could combine craftsmanship with emotions and all the gimmicks that went into a good adventure strip."[6] Raymond's influence on other cartoonists was considerable during his lifetime and did not diminish after his death.

Alex Raymond
Alex Raymond (King Features)
Promotional photograph of Alex Raymond from King Features' Famous Artists and Writers, 1949
BornOctober 2, 1909[1]
New Rochelle, New York
DiedSeptember 6, 1956 (aged 46)
Westport, Connecticut
NationalityAmerican
Area(s)Cartoonist, Artist
Notable works
Flash Gordon,
Rip Kirby
AwardsReuben Award (1949),
Comic Book Hall of Fame, 1996

Biography

Early life and career

Raymond was born in New Rochelle, New York, the son of Beatrice W. (née Crossley) and Alexander Gillespie Raymond. He was raised in the Roman Catholic faith.[7][8]

His father was a civil engineer and road builder who encouraged his son's love of drawing from an early age, even "covering one wall of his office in the Woolworth Building" with his young son's work.[9][10] After the death of his father when he was 12, he felt that perhaps there was not as viable a future in art as he had hoped and attended Iona Prep on an athletic scholarship.[9]

Raymond's first job was as "an order clerk in Wall Street". In the wake of the 1929 economic crisis, he "enrolled in the Grand Central School of Art in New York City" and began working as a solicitor for a mortgage broker.[9][10]

Approaching former neighbor Russ Westover, Raymond soon quit his job and by 1930 was assisting on Westover's Tillie the Toiler, through which Raymond was "introduced to [the] King Features Syndicate", where he became a staff artist[11] and for which he would produce his greatest work.[9][10]

Raymond was influenced by a variety of strip cartoonists and magazine illustrators, including Matt Clark, Franklin Booth and John La Gatta.[12] From late 1931 to 1933,[13] Raymond assisted Lyman Young on Tim Tyler's Luck, eventually becoming the ghost artist in "1932 and 1933... [on] both the daily strip and the Sunday page",[5] turning it "into one of the most eye-catching strips of the time".[13] Concurrently, Raymond assisted Chic Young on Blondie.[10]

In 1933, King Features assigned him to do the art for an espionage action-adventure strip, Secret Agent X-9,[11] scripted by novelist Dashiell Hammett,[10] and Raymond's illustrative approach to that strip made him King Features' leading talent.[11]

Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim and Secret Agent X-9

Towards the end of 1933,[5] King Features asked him to create a Sunday page that could compete with Buck Rogers in the 25th Century,[10] a popular science fiction adventure strip that had debuted in 1929 and already spawned the rival Brick Bradford in 1933.[11] According to King Features, syndicate president Joe Connolly "gave Raymond an idea ... based on fantastic adventures similar to those of Jules Verne".[9]

Alongside ghostwriter Don Moore,[11] a pulp-fiction veteran, Raymond created the visually sumptuous science fiction epic comic strip Flash Gordon.[10] The duo also created the "complementary strip, Jungle Jim, an adventurous saga set in South-East Asia", a topper which ran above Flash in some papers[14] Raymond was concurrently illustrating Secret Agent X-9, which premiered January 22, 1934, two weeks after the two other strips.[15] It was Flash Gordon that would outlast the others, quickly "develop[ing] an audience far surpassing" that of Buck Rogers.[14] Flash Gordon, wrote Stephen Becker, "was wittier and moved faster,"[6] so "Buck's position as America's favorite sci-fi hero", wrote historian Bill Crouch, Jr., "went down in flames to the artistic lash and spectacle of Alex Raymond's virtuoso artwork." Alex Raymond has stated, "I decided honestly that comic art is an art form in itself. It reflects the life and times more accurately and actually is more artistic than magazine illustration—since it is entirely creative. An illustrator works with camera and models; a comic artist begins with a white sheet of paper and dreams up his own business—he is playwright, director, editor and artist at once."[9][11] A. E. Mendez has also stated that "Raymond’s achievements are chopped into bite-sized pieces by the comic art cognoscenti. Lost in the worthwhile effort to distinguish comics as an art form, the romance, sweep and beauty of Raymond's draftsmanship, his incomparable line work, is dismissed. To many, it's just pretty pictures. Somehow or another, it's OK for people like Caniff and Eisner to borrow from film. That’s real storytelling. But for Raymond to study illustrators, well, that's just not comics."[12]

Debuting on January 7, 1934, Raymond's first Flash strip introduced the "world-famous polo player", improbably roped into a space adventure alongside love-interest Dale Arden and scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov.[14] Transported by rocket to the planet Mongo, "which was about to collide with Earth", the trio "immediately became embroiled in the affairs of Mongo's inhabitants—particularly those of its insidious warlord, Ming", who would become Flash Gordon's nemesis throughout the franchise's many incarnations.[14]

Early in 1935, Hammett decided to depart as writer of Secret Agent X-9 in order to pursue a career in Hollywood. While it has been presumed that Raymond took on the writing duties of the strip until a replacement could be found, biographer Tom Roberts instead believes that the strip was written by committee during editorial conference, a view R. C. Harvey believes is supported by the strips themselves.[16] Saint author Leslie Charteris was hired to take over the writing of the strip in September 1935, but the pair would only collaborate on one storyline.[17] By the end of 1935, "the [work]load was too much for Raymond,"[5] who left Secret Agent X-9 to artist Charles Flanders, in order to devote more time to his meticulous Sunday pages.

Raymond's work on X-9 is said to particularly reach for "the feel of the best pulp interior art of the time," a style that would evolve with his own so-called "great flourishes" and "later blossom to full effect in Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim".[12] "Under his pen," writes Maurice Horn, his Sunday pages "became world famous (especially Flash Gordon)."[5] However, historian and critic R.C. Harvey argues that "despite Raymond's great talent as an illustrator, his deployment of the comic-strip medium (on X-9) was not very impressive." Harvey feels that Raymond's work suffers in comparison to Milton Caniff's contemporaneous work, with Raymond's failings as a visual storyteller less noticeable on a weekly Sunday strip, where the space afforded played to his skills as an illustrator.[17]

Flashgordon panel transition
The first Flash Gordon and one from 1936 show how Raymond expanded from the standard layout to larger panels.

Raymond's sensual artwork—for which the artist particularly "studied popular illustrators," including pulp artist Matt Clark, whose work Raymond's male figures particularly evoke[12]—outshone its borders and "attracted far more loyal readers than... [the] rather contrived and unconvincing adventure stories" his work depicted.[14] Raymond swiftly became "among the most highly-regarded—and most imitated—in all of comics" for his work on the weekly strip, with Harvey declaring his work on the strip "a technical virtuosity matched on the comics pages only by Harold Foster in Prince Valiant."[14][17] Raymond evolved the layout of the strip from a four-tier strip in 1934 to a two-tier strip in 1936, reducing the number of panels but doubling their size. Combining this with a removal of dialogue from speech balloons to captions at the bottom of the panel afforded Raymond the space to create detailed and atmospheric backgrounds. Against these spacious backgrounds, the placement of characters in heroic pose "lent the entire enterprise a mythic air."[17]

Flash Gordon gained a daily strip in 1940, illustrated by Austin Briggs.[14] Raymond left the Sunday strip in 1944 to join the Marines, whereupon the daily strip was cancelled and Briggs assumed Sunday duties, continuing until 1948.[14] Briggs was succeeded on the Sundays by Emanuel "Mac" Raboy, while the daily strip was revised in 1951 by Dan Barry. Barry also took over Sunday duties after Raboy's death in 1967.

Run above Flash Gordon, Raymond's Jungle Jim is described by Armando Mendez as "a thing of beauty... always more than just a topper or a shallow response to Hal Foster's exquisite Tarzan".[12] The companion strip evolved over time, morphing from an initial "two tiers and up to six panels [layout], with speech balloons" into "a single row, of four very tall panels with declamatory text and static, vertical composition".[12] Raymond's skill and artistic dexterity, however, kept the storytelling constant and the artwork vibrant. Jungle Jim was "set in contemporary times and the exotic Malay peninsula of islands, [but] was intended to hark back to the original tales of Kipling, Haggard and Burroughs".[12]

Military career

Marines at Prayer by Alex Raymond
While he was in the Marines, Raymond painted "Marines at Prayer" for the Marine Corps' Headquarters Bulletin (December 1944).

Raymond took the war in Europe seriously enough to incorporate it into his strips, with Flash returning to Earth in the Spring of 1941. Jungle Jim found himself involved in the conflict too, fighting in the U.S. Army. Raymond was becoming "restive about doing his duty", a restlessness increased by the knowledge that four of his five brothers were already enlisted.[17] In February 1944, Raymond left King Features and his work on the Sunday Flash Gordon/Jungle Jim pages to join the US Marines, commissioned as a captain and serving in the public-relations arm. Raymond is quoted as stating "I just had to get into this fight... I've always been the kind of guy who gets a lump in his throat when a band plays the 'Star Spangled Banner'".[5][10][17][18]

Shortly thereafter, he "was sent to Quantico for training in the curriculum of the Aviation Ground Officer's School," and was soon producing "posters and patriotic images from a government office in Philadelphia."[18] His most famous image from this time is "Marines at Prayer," which "was destined to become a well-known and well-circulated image of Marines on a battlefield pausing for worship."[18] Raymond also "designed the official 1944 Marine Corps Christmas card."[6] Desiring "to get closer to the action," he then trained at the Marine Corps Air Station in Santa Barbara before serving in the Pacific Ocean theater "on the 1945 cruise of the escort carrier USS Gilbert Islands."[18] Treated by his fellow marines (who had been raised on Flash Gordon) as a celebrity, he was nonetheless seen as "a down-to-earth fellow," and well liked.[18] He saw "a period of intense combat in June 1945," and was "made an honorary member of VMTB-143 in August 1945."[18] Raymond had, in May 1945, designed a squadron patch for the men of VMTB-143, after which the "squadron adopted the new name 'The Rocket Raiders'."[18]

He was demobilized as a Major in 1946.[5][10] Upon his return, Raymond was unable to return to Flash Gordon. King Features were not prepared to usurp Austin Briggs from the Sunday strip and pointed out that Raymond had left voluntarily to enlist. Relatives of Raymond recall the artist as resenting this decision, which left him feeling "cast off with so little regard."[17] However, King Features offered Raymond the opportunity to create a new strip.

Rip Kirby

Ripkirby
Alex Raymond's Rip Kirby (July 28, 1956), his final strip with Judith Lynne "Honey" Dorian.

Raymond's "police daily strip,"[5] named after its central character – J. Remington "Rip" Kirby[12] – debuted on March 4, 1946, conceived (and initially scripted) by King Features editor Ward Greene.[19] The plotting of the strips is harder to attribute, the scant evidence available supporting the notion that Raymond was more than simply an illustrator.[17] However, as was relatively commonplace on such strips, published credit went to Raymond, whose name was the major selling feature; the artist even managed to gain a part-ownership deal with King and a better split of the profits than was usual.[17][19] Rip Kirby was Raymond's reintroduction to newspaper strips after the war, and he was quick to forge a new "up-to-date" style for the strip, while keeping ties to the audience he had built up with Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim, and Secret Agent X-9.[19]

Running alongside the post-World War II reintegration of America's military into civilian life, Rip (like Raymond) was "an ex-Marine," who "set himself up as a private detective" a vocation tailor-made to provide daily thrills.[19]

Described by Stephen Becker as "modern and almost too intellectual",[20] the strip eschewed many of the pulp fictional detective tropes (e.g. alcoholism, two-fisted assistants, and an assortment of interchangeable femmes fatale). Instead, "[Rip] did more cogitating than fisticuffing, and smoked a leisurely pipe while he did it;" "had a frail, balding assistant ... instead of a two-fisted sidekick;" "had a steady girlfriend... [and] [i]f that wasn't enough, he even wore glasses![19][21] Rip "lived and worked in a recognizable, glamorous, modern New York City on cases involving very human frailties and vice", and "grew older as the strip progressed", a continuity advancement little seen in the strips of the time (although pioneered in "Gasoline Alley" and Mary Worth[22]).[12] Raymond noted the change in subject matter, commenting that "I wanted to do something different and more down to earth."[17]

Stylistically, "Raymond turned to the Cooper Studio-Al Parker advertising style for inspiration, spurring a new generation of comic artists to follow a fresh direction", that of "glorify[ing] contemporary post-War American life".[12] Although the strip was published entirely in black and white, Raymond worked hard to add tone through artistic technique. "Raymond nevertheless [colored] through his use of varying linework ... [creating] color through contrast".[23] His new style was much imitated throughout the industry and became known as 'the Raymond style'.[24]

Circulation of the strip rose steadily, and it was the artist who was apportioned most of the praise – including being awarded the fourth Reuben Award in 1949.[19] He also served as the National Cartoonists Society's president from 1950 until 1952, putting into place the committee structure responsible for overseeing the organization, and threw himself into championing the medium as an art form.[17] Raymond profited in recognizability as well as financially, and continued on the strip until his untimely death in September 1956.[19] His collaborator from 1952 was writer Fred Dickenson (who wrote the strip for a further 34 years), and he was succeeded artistically by magazine and Prize Publications' Young Romance illustrator John Prentice.[19] Commentators have said that Prentice echoed the Rip Kirby artistic style, but lacked "Raymond's excellent design sense," although he continued to draw the strip until his retirement in 1999, the strip itself concluding shortly after.[17][19]

Legacy

In 1967, Woody Gelman, under his Nostalgia Press imprint revived some of his earlier work.[25] Regarded by Time magazine in 1974—alongside Prince Valiant author-illustrator Hal Foster—as "some sort of genius",[26] and described in Jerry Bails and Hames Ware's Who's Who in American Comic Books as "[p]ossibly the most influential artist on early comic books",[27] Raymond's legacy as an artistic inspiration is immense. Harvey argues that it is because of Raymond and Foster that the illustrative style became the dominant one used for adventure strips. "His work and Foster's created the visual standard by which all such comic strips would henceforth be measured."[17] Biographer Tom Roberts also believes Raymond's work on Rip Kirby "inspired all the soap opera style strips of the fifties and sixties". Roberts argues that strips such as Apartment 3-G "can trace their origins to the success of Raymond's strip".[23] Although his work was rarely seen outside of the newspaper "funny pages", as Raymond preferred to focus his energies on strip work, he also produced a number of "illustrations for Blue Book, Look, Collier's and Cosmopolitan".[10] as well as Esquire.[12]

The "heightened realism" of Raymond's photorealistic style has been "chastised for making his pictures too realistic, too gorgeous for its own sake", although many commentators believe that this very method "plunges the reader into the story".[28] Raymond's work has a "timeless appeal," many aspects of which—including the use of feathering (a shading technique in which a soft series of parallel lines helps to suggest the contour of an object)[6]—have inspired generations of cartoonists, his work becoming "the raw material for the swipe files of future generations".[6][28] His work on Rip Kirby is especially noted for its use of "sophisticated black spotting", a technique Raymond used from c.1949 "for pacing" reasons.[28] Fellow-cartoonist Stan Drake recalled that Raymond called his black areas "pools of quiet", serving as they did "as a pause for the viewer, something to slow the eye across the strip's panels".[28]

Specific influences

George Lucas, Pasadena
George Lucas, who has cited Raymond as an influence on Star Wars.

Alex Raymond's "influence on other cartoonists was considerable during his lifetime and did not diminish after his death".[5] George Lucas has cited Raymond's Flash Gordon as a major influence on his Star Wars films (which, cyclically, inspired the 1980 Flash Gordon film), while Raymond's long shadow has fallen across the comics industry ever since his work saw print. Comics artists who have cited Raymond as a particularly significant influence on their work include Murphy Anderson, Jim Aparo, Frank Brunner, John Buscema, Gene Colan, Dick Dillin, José Luis García-López, Frank Giacoia, Bob Haney, Jack Katz, Everett Raymond Kinstler, Joe Kubert, Russ Manning,[29] Mort Meskin, Sheldon Moldoff, Luis Garcia Mozos, Joe Orlando, Mac Raboy,[30] John Romita Jr., Kurt Schaffenberger, Joe Sinnott, Dick Sprang and Alex Toth, among many others.[31]

In particular, Raymond has been named as a key influence by many of the most influential and important comic book artists of all time. EC Comics-staple Al Williamson cites Raymond as a major influence, and is quoted as saying that Raymond was "the reason I became an artist".[6] Indeed, Williamson ultimately assisted on the Flash Gordon strips in the mid-1950s, and Rip Kirby in the mid-1960s (all post-Raymond).[31] Key Golden Age artists credit Raymond with influencing their work. The artistic creators of Batman (Bob Kane) and Superman (Joe Shuster) credit him (alongside Milton Caniff, Billy DeBeck and Roy Crane) as having had a strong influence on their artistic development.[31] Decades later, the herald of the Silver Age (and co-creator of most of Marvel Comics's pantheon of heroes), Jack "King" Kirby also credits Raymond, alongside fellow strip artist Hal Foster, as a particular influence and inspiration.[31]

Cerebus creator Dave Sim has published a comic book since 2008 called glamourpuss which is an examination of Alex Raymond's career (and the techniques of other photorealists like Stan Drake and Al Williamson) structured around a hypothetical storyline set during the last day of Raymond's life.

Death

On September 6, 1956, Raymond was killed in an automobile accident in Westport, Connecticut. Driving fellow cartoonist Stan Drake's 1956 Corvette at twice the 25 mph (40 km/h) speed limit,[6] he hit a tree and was killed. Roberts describes in his biography the circumstances as a result of the weather. Driving in the convertible with its top down, Raymond decided to reach his destination quicker rather than stop to put the top back up when rain started to fall. Drake was thrown clear of the crash, but Raymond, with his seat belt buckled, died instantly. Speculation surrounds the nature of his death, with some, Drake included, believing Raymond was suicidal. Raymond had been involved in four automobile accidents in the month prior to his death, which led Drake to say Raymond "had been trying to kill himself". Author Arlen Schumer ascribes the motive for suicide as being related to Raymond's personal life. Schumer alleges that Raymond had been having affairs, and that his wife was refusing to grant him a divorce. R. C. Harvey is dismissive of this motivation: "Committing suicide strikes me as an odd way for a man of Raymond's sophistication to react to his disappointment in romance".[17] Harvey also notes that no mention of any alleged affairs is made in Tom Robert's biography, "probably out of consideration to Raymond's surviving family".[17] Drake has also been quoted as speculating that Raymond "hit the accelerator by mistake" instead of the brake.[6] Raymond is buried in St. John's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Darien, Connecticut.[32]

Personal life

Raymond married Helen Frances Williams on December 31, 1930, with whom he had five children.[9] The names of his three daughters—Judith, Lynne and Helen—were immortalized in that of Rip Kirby's girlfriend, Judith Lynne "Honey" Dorian.[22] The Raymonds also had two sons: Alan W. and Duncan.[9] He was the great-uncle of actors Matt Dillon and Kevin Dillon.[33] His younger brother, Jim Raymond, was also a cartoonist, and also an assistant to Chic Young on Blondie.

Awards

Alex Raymond received a Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society in 1949 for his work on Rip Kirby, and he later served as President of the Society in 1950 and 1951.[5] He was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1996.[27] He was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2014.[34]

Maurice Horn calls Raymond "one of the most celebrated comic artists of all time as the creator of four outstanding comic features (a feat unequaled to this day)," noting that he "received many distinctions and awards during his lifetime for his work, both as a cartoonist and as a magazine illustrator."[5][35]

Bibliography

Raymond's work includes:

Collected editions

Raymond's work has been collected a number of times. Most recently:

  • Flash Gordon (hardcover, Checker Book Publishing Group):
    • Volume 1 (collects Raymond's earliest Sunday Strips starting from the first, printed on January 7, 1934; 98 pages, October 2003, ISBN 0-9741664-3-X)
    • Volume 2 (collects strips from 1935 and 1936; 100 pages, December 2004, ISBN 0-9741664-6-4)
    • Volume 3 (collects the pages printed between October 25, 1936 and August 1, 1937; 96 pages, May 2005, ISBN 1-933160-25-X)
    • Volume 4 (collects strips printed between 1938 and 1940; November 2005, ISBN 1-933160-26-8)
    • Volume 5 (collects "The Ice Kingdom of Mongo", "Power Men of Mongo", and "The Fall of Ming"; 1940 to 1941; 80 pages, November 2005, ISBN 1-933160-27-6)
    • Volume 6 (collects the pages printed from August 1941 to May 1943; 100 pages, April 2007, ISBN 1-933160-28-4)
    • Volume 7 (collects the final strips from mid-1943, until the final Raymond issue from February 1945; 100 pages, December 2006, ISBN 1-933160-20-9)
  • Rip Kirby (hardcover, IDW):
    • Volume 1 (collects strips printed between 1946 and 1948; 2009, ISBN 978-1-60010-484-8)
    • Volume 2 (collects strips printed between 1948 and 1951; March 2010, ISBN 978-1-60010-582-1)
    • Volume 3 (collects strips printed between 1951 and 1954; November 2010, ISBN 978-1-60010-785-6)
    • Volume 4 (collects strips printed between 1954 and 1956; August 2011, ISBN 978-1600109898)
  • Flash Gordon & Jungle Jim (hardcover, IDW):
    • Volume 1 (collects strips printed between 1934 and 1936; December 2011, ISBN 978-1-61377-015-3)
    • Volume 2 (collects strips printed between 1936 and 1939; August 2012, ISBN 978-1-61377-220-1)
    • Volume 3 (collects strips printed between 1939 and 1941; April 2013, ISBN 978-1613775806)
    • Volume 4 (collects strips printed between 1942 and 1944; May 2014, ISBN 978-1613779170)

References

  1. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JKNW-R2C : accessed March 2, 2013), Alexander Raymond, September 1956.
  2. ^ "Explore Billions of Historical Records — FamilySearch.org". familysearch.org.
  3. ^ Alex Raymond's Last Ride, Hogan's Alley, May 2012
  4. ^ Sabin, Roger, Comics, Comix & Graphic Novels: A History of Comic Art (Phaidon Press, 1996) ISBN 0-7148-3993-0, p. 54
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Horn, Maurice, "Alex Raymond" in Horn (ed.) The World Encyclopedia of Comics (Chelsea House Publishers, 2nd ed., 1999) ISBN 0-7910-4854-3, p. 641
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Duin, Steve and Richardson, Mike (ed.s) "Alex Raymond" in Comics Between the Panels (Dark Horse Publishing, 1998) ISBN 1-56971-344-8, p. 366-367
  7. ^ O'Sullivan, Judith (1971). The art of the comic strip, Issue 1. Michigan: University of Maryland Dept. of Art. p. 83.
  8. ^ "MRS. A.G. RAYMOND; Widow of Contractor—Four of Her Six Sons in Service". The New York Times. February 21, 1945. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h King Features' "Alex Raymond" in Famous Writers and Artists, 1949 Archived June 18, 2004, at the Wayback Machine placed online by Armando E. Mendez Archived March 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed January 3, 2009
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Alex Raymond". Comiclopedia. Lambiek.net. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Horn, Maurice, editor. 100 Years of American Newspaper Comics (Gramercy Books: New York, Avenel, 1996) ISBN 0-517-12447-5. Flash Gordon entry by Bill Crouch, Jr., pg. 118
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Mendez, Prof. Armando E. "The Look of Love: The Rise and Fall of the Photo-Realistic Newspaper Strip, 1946–1970: Honey Time 2.0: Alex Raymond and Rip Kirby". Archived from the original on July 20, 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2009.
  13. ^ a b Horn. Tim Tyler's Luck entry, by Horn, p. 375
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h "Flash Gordon". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
  15. ^ Horn. Secret Agent X-9 entry, by Horn, p. 341
  16. ^ Harvey, R.C. (Jan 2009). "Alex Raymond at Last". The Comics Journal (295): 161–173. ISSN 0194-7869. "the unevenness of the storytelling from week to week suggests that more than one hand was on the tiller, and some of them had only a tenuous grasp."
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Harvey, R.C. (Jan 2009). "Alex Raymond at Last". The Comics Journal (295): 161–173. ISSN 0194-7869.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Lewis, Adam "Alex Raymond's USMC Art" at Lewis' Plane Fun. Accessed January 4, 2009
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Rip Kirby". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved January 2, 2009.
  20. ^ Becker, Stephen in Comic Art in America, quoted by A. E. Mendez Archived March 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ As noted by Jerry Robinson, quoted by Armando E. Mendez Archived March 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ a b Mendez, Armando E. The Look of Love: The Rise and Fall of the Photo-Realistic Newspaper Strip, 1946–1970: "Alex Raymond and Rip Kirby, Page 2" Archived March 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed January 1, 2009
  23. ^ a b Roberts, Tom, Alex Raymond: His Life and Art. As quoted in Harvey, R.C. (Jan 2009). "Alex Raymond at Last". The Comics Journal (295): 161–173. ISSN 0194-7869.
  24. ^ Feduniewicz, K. & Yeates, T. 2004 Al Williamson-Hidden Lands. Milwaukee: Dark Horse Books, p. 196
  25. ^ Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession, pp. 125–126, Dave Jamieson, 2010, Atlantic Monthly Press, imprint of Grove/Atlantic Inc., New York, NY, ISBN 978-0-8021-1939-1
  26. ^ "Christmas Books: Looking Backward", Time, December 16, 1974. Accessed January 2, 2009
  27. ^ a b Bails, Jerry and Hames Ware. "Alex Raymond" in Who's Who in American Comic Books. Accessed January 2, 2009
  28. ^ a b c d Mendez, Armando E. The Look of Love: The Rise and Fall of the Photo-Realistic Newspaper Strip, 1946–1970: "Alex Raymond and Rip Kirby, Page 3" Archived January 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed January 3, 2009
  29. ^ Mike Royer, "Foreword" to Russ Manning, Magnus, Robot Fighter: Volume One. Dark Horse Comics, Milwaukie, Or. 2010.ISBN 9781595825995 (p.7)
  30. ^ Drew Friedman, Heroes Of The Comics:Portraits of the Pioneering Legends of the Comic Books. Seattle, Washington : Fantagraphics Books, 2014. ISBN 9781606997314 (p.82)
  31. ^ a b c d Hames Ware and Jerry Bails' Who's Who in American Comic Books: "Alex Rayomnd (cited influences)" Archived December 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed January 2, 2009
  32. ^ New York Times
  33. ^ Harry Blauvelt, "Fordham golf coach has way with the brush", USA Today, September 10, 2001. Accessed January 1, 2009
  34. ^ "The Society of Illustrators: Hall of Fame". societyillustrators.org.
  35. ^ Horn ascribes a full "creator" credit to Raymond for his being originating artist/co-creator/major influence on Secret Agent X-9, Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim and Rip Kirby.

Further reading

  • Roberts, Tom (2007). Alex Raymond: His Life and Art. Adventure House. ISBN 1-886937-78-8.

External links

51st World Science Fiction Convention

The 51st World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), also known as ConFrancisco, was held September 2–6, 1993, at the ANA Hotel, Parc Fifty Five, and Nikko Hotels, and the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California, United States.

The supporting organization was San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. The chairman was David W. Clark. The Guests of Honor (called "Honored Guests") were Larry Niven, Alicia Austin, Tom Digby, Jan Howard Finder, and Mark Twain (Dead GoH). Mark Twain was "channeled" by Jon deCles. The toastmaster was Guy Gavriel Kay. Total attendance was 6,602, of 7,725 paid memberships.

ConFrancisco was the last Worldcon not to have its own official website.The original plan of San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. was to hold the convention at the futuristic San Francisco Marriott Marquis, designed by the noted architect Anthony J. Lumsden, which is topped with a jukebox shaped glass tower that makes it look like a skyscraper from a Flash Gordon comic strip by Alex Raymond. This building is a notable example of futurist architecture. However, the hotel backed out of the contract when a more lucrative larger convention wanted to schedule there on the same weekend.

Austin Briggs

Austin Briggs (September 8, 1908 – October 10, 1973) was a cartoonist and illustrator. Born in Humboldt, Minnesota he grew up in Detroit, Michigan before moving to New York City as a teenager. After working for a while at an advertising agency, he began providing illustrations for the "upmarket" pulp magazine Blue Book. Briggs later became an assistant to the cartoonist Alex Raymond on Flash Gordon and succeeded him on Secret Agent Corrigan. In 1940 he drew a Flash Gordon Daily strip which he stayed on until about 1944; he moved on to creating illustrations for books and magazines such as Readers Digest and The Saturday Evening Post. He was one of the founding faculty for the Famous Artists School.In 1969 he was elected to the Society of Illustrators' Hall of Fame.

He died from leukemia in Paris, where he had retired.

Azura

Azura may refer to:

Azura Sky (born 1981), American actress

Azura (Hong Kong), an apartment building in Hong Kong

"Azura", song on the album Don Solaris by 808 State

MS Azura, a cruise ship in the P&O Cruises fleet

Azura (diocese), a titular see in the Roman Catholic Church

Azura, the alias of fictional character Romwell Jr in the Gorgeous Carat manga

Thena, a fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe, also known as Azura

Azura, a fictional character in the Di-Gata Defenders television series

Azura, a fictional island fortress in Gears of War 3

Azura (Elder Scrolls), a fictional supernatural entity that appears in The Elder Scrolls videogames

Azura (religious figure), daughter of Adam and Eve

Azura, Goddess of Death in Jade Cocoon, also known as the spinner of souls

Azura, A misguided spirit; also known as a bane in the World of Darkness role playing game system.

Azura wave power device

Azura, the secondary main playable character from Fire Emblem Fates

Azura, Queen of the Witch People, in the Depression-era comic strip "Flash Gordon" (by Alex Raymond) and its numerous comic book and audiovisual spin-offs

Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon is the hero of a space opera adventure comic strip created by and originally drawn by Alex Raymond. First published January 7, 1934, the strip was inspired by, and created to compete with the already established Buck Rogers adventure strip.The Flash Gordon comic strip has been translated into a wide variety of media, including motion pictures, television, and animated series. The latest version, a Flash Gordon television series, appeared on the Syfy channel in the United States in 2007–2008.

Flash Gordon (film)

Flash Gordon is a 1980 science fantasy film based on the King Features comic strip of the same name created by Alex Raymond. Directed by Mike Hodges and produced by Dino De Laurentiis, the film was shot in Technicolor and Todd-AO-35. It stars Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Topol, Max von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed and Ornella Muti. The movie was co-written by Michael Allin (known for Enter the Dragon) and Lorenzo Semple Jr. (who had previously scripted De Laurentiis's remake of King Kong). It uses a camp style similar to the 1960s TV series Batman (which Semple developed) in an attempt to appeal to fans of the original comics and serial films. Although a box office success in the United Kingdom, it performed poorly in other markets. The film is notable for its soundtrack composed, performed and produced by the rock band Queen, with the orchestral sections by Howard Blake. The film has since gained a significant cult following.

Flash Gordon (serial)

Flash Gordon is a 1936 science fiction film serial. Shown in 13 chapters, it was the first screen adventure for the comic-strip character Flash Gordon that was invented by Alex Raymond only two years earlier in 1934. It tells the story of Flash Gordon's first visit to the planet Mongo and his encounter with the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless. Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton, Priscilla Lawson and Frank Shannon played the central roles. In 1996, Flash Gordon was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Glamourpuss (comics)

glamourpuss was a Canadian independent comic book written and illustrated by Dave Sim which was published from April 2008 until July 2012 and ran for 26 issues.The comic was published bimonthly, with 24 pages of story and art. Back issues remained available throughout the comic's print run. An all-in-one trade paperback should eventually be made available (the series collected in one volume upon completion).

One of the stories within Glamourpuss about the death of comic illustrator Alex Raymond remained uncompleted at the time of the last issue but will eventually be published as The Strange Death of Alex Raymond in the near future.

The premise of the book is threefold: a parody of fashion magazines, a history of photorealism in comics, and a surreal super-heroine comic.

Issue four of the book was offered with "Zombie" variant covers, featuring "zombie-fied" covers instead of the traditional fashion magazine versions.

Issue 18, March 2011, featured the first new Cerebus comic book story in seven years.

John Prentice (cartoonist)

John Prentice (October 17, 1920 – May 23, 1999) was a cartoonist who took over the comic strip Rip Kirby upon the death of the strip's creator, Alex Raymond.

Prentice was born in Whitney, Texas. From 1940-1946 he served in the United States Navy. After briefly attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, he moved to New York City and worked in a variety of illustrator jobs before being tapped to replace Alex Raymond. Prentice drew the strip for the next 43 years.Prentice worked occasionally for DC Comics in the 1950s, providing artwork for the first issue of Showcase comics' story, "Fireman Farrell".Prentice received the National Cartoonist Society Story Comic Strip Award for the series in 1966, 1967, and 1986.

Jungle Jim

Jungle Jim is the fictional hero of a series of jungle adventures in various media. The series began in 1934 as an American newspaper comic strip chronicling the adventures of Asia-based hunter Jim Bradley, who was nicknamed Jungle Jim. The character also trekked through radio, film, comic book and television adaptations. Notable was a series of films and television episodes in which Johnny Weissmuller portrayed the safari-suit wearing character, after hanging up his Tarzan loincloth.

Jungle Jim (TV series)

Jungle Jim is a 26-episode syndicated adventure television series which aired from 1955 till 1956, starring Johnny Weissmuller, as James "Jungle Jim" Bradley, a hunter, guide, and explorer in, primarily, Africa. The program should not be confused with Ramar of the Jungle, but is based on the Jungle Jim comic strip created by Alex Raymond and Don Moore. Starring with Weissmuller were Martin Huston as Jungle Jim's teenage son, Skipper; Dean Fredericks (also known as Norman Fredric) as Haseem, the Hindu manservant, and Neal, a chimpanzee from the World Jungle Compound, as Tamba. Paul Cavanagh played Commissioner Morrison in nine episodes.

Jungle Jim (serial)

Jungle Jim is a 1937 Universal serial film based on Jungle Jim, the comic strip by Alex Raymond. Grant Withers starred as Jungle Jim, and Henry Brandon played the villainous Cobra.

Mac Raboy

Emmanuel "Mac" Raboy (April 17, 1914 – December 12, 1967) was an American comics artist best known for his comic-book work on Fawcett Comics' Captain Marvel Jr. and as the Sunday comic-strip artist of Flash Gordon for more than 20 years. Born in New York City, Raboy began his art career with the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. In the 1940s he began working with the Harry A. Chesler studio of comics artists. Raboy began drawing comic books and gained fame as the illustrator for Captain Marvel, Jr. and the Green Lama. Raboy was a great admirer of Alex Raymond, and "kept a portfolio of Alex Raymond's "Flash Gordon" comics by his side for inspiration and guidance as he worked". In the spring of 1946, King Features hired Raboy to continue the Sunday page adventures of Flash Gordon, which he continued to work on until his death. Drew Friedman has stated, "Raboy was an expert technician with pen and brush, and his lush covers are some of the most unusually beautiful ever to grace comic books".

Mongo (fictional planet)

Mongo is a fictional planet where the comic strip (and later movie serials) of Flash Gordon takes place. Mongo was created by the comics artist Alex Raymond in 1934, with the assistance of Raymond's ghostwriter Don Moore. Mongo is depicted as being ruled by a usurper named Ming the Merciless, who is shown as ruling Mongo in a harsh and oppressive manner.The planet is depicted as being inhabited by different cultures, and having a varying ecosystem. The technology of these cultures varies from groups at a Stone Age level, to highly technologically advanced peoples. At the beginning of the comic strip, almost all of these cultures are shown as being under the domination of the tyrant Ming. In all the versions of the Flash Gordon story, Flash Gordon is shown as unifying the peoples of Mongo against Ming, and eventually removes him from power. Later stories often depict Mongo under the rule of its rightful leader, Prince Barin.

Rip Kirby

Rip Kirby is an American comic strip created by Alex Raymond in 1946 featuring the adventures of the eponymous lead character, a private detective. With a run spanning five decades, the strip was in the hands of creator John Prentice for more than 40 years.

Secret Agent X-9

Secret Agent X-9 was a comic strip created by writer Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon) and artist Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon). Syndicated by King Features, it ran from January 22, 1934 until February 10, 1996.

Secret Agent X-9 (1937 serial)

Secret Agent X-9 (1937) is a Universal film serial based on the comic strip Secret Agent X-9 by Dashiell Hammett and Alex Raymond.

Secret Agent X-9 (1945 serial)

Secret Agent X-9 is a 1945 Universal movie serial based on the comic strip Secret Agent X-9. It was the second serial with this name, the first was released by Universal in 1937.

Space opera

Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology. The term has no relation to music, but is instead a play on the terms "soap opera" and "horse opera", the latter of which was coined during the 1930s to indicate clichéd and formulaic Western movies. Space operas emerged in the 1930s and continue to be produced in literature, film, comics, television and video games.

An early film which was based on space opera comic strips was Flash Gordon (1936) created by Alex Raymond. In the late 1970s, the Star Wars franchise (1977–present) created by George Lucas brought a great deal of attention to the subgenre. After the convention-breaking "New Wave", followed by the enormous success of the Star Wars films, space opera became once again a critically acceptable subgenre. Throughout 1982–2002, the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel was often given to a space opera nominee.

Stan Drake

Stanley Albert Drake (November 9, 1921 – March 10, 1997) was an American cartoonist best known as the founding artist of the comic strip The Heart of Juliet Jones.

Born in Brooklyn, Drake worked in the back of a Dugan's Donut truck for a dollar-a-day salary while he was in high school. At the age of 17, he contributed art to Popular Detective, Popular Sports and other pulps. Entering the comic book field as artist, letterer and writer, he became friends with cartoonist Bob Lubbers, who later suggested he draw newspaper comics.He studied for two years at New York's Art Students League. In the Pacific during World War II, he did PR work for Stars and Stripes. Returning to civilian life, he went into advertising, eventually heading a studio of 12 illustrators. Drake was a passenger during the September 1956 automobile accident that killed his fellow cartoonist Alex Raymond.

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