As much as anyone who loves superhero comics, which have been pretty much the norm for more than 70 years, we must give credit to what came before, the science-fiction and pulp heroes of the 20's and 30's. Alex Raymond creator of Flash Gordon took 2 very popular concepts of the time, Tarzan for adventure and Buck Rogers for space fantasy and came up with his most famous creation, the polo player-turned-saviour of the universe from the evil grip of Ming and his hordes from planet Mongo.
Titan Books has done a remarkable job in capturing these first few years (1934 - 1937) of the Flash Gordon newspaper strips. Now, I wasn't alive when these stories came out, but I did grow up reading the Sunday adventures of other heroes such as The Phantom, Dick Tracy and Mandrake so these type of stories have a special place in my heart. Furthermore, I was first exposed to Flash Gordon as a little kid because of the 1980's movie which I still love to this very day, cheesiness and all so I immensely enjoyed this book.
Titan has successfully combined these 2 fond memories of mine and translated it into a volume which will be cherished by any fan of science fiction, comic books/strips, great art and overall great stories. The book fantastically reprints these old strips not just maintaining their original colors and printing process intact but Alex Raymond's gorgeously-detailed art as well in a fully immersive volume that makes you feel like a kid again.
This is a true homage to Alex Raymond and his quirky cast of Lion or Shark Men and evil rulers and intricately-designed far-off worlds. This book also contains an introduction and a new illustration by Alex Ross (right) who discusses the place of Raymond's art in history. There's also an insightful lesson on the creation of the character and how the whole industry came to be by Doug Murray. Kudos also go to Peter Maresca for his restorations without which we couldn't appreciate the gorgeous art contained within this book.
Overall, this book is for everyone who enjoys great art, great fantasy stories and for all ages as well. This book comes out on September 25th.
Click on the link below to order yours or to pre-order the subsequent volumes in this series.