Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Flash Gordon: The complete Daily Strips, November 1951 - April 1953 Paperback – February 1, 1988
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
About the Author
Harry Harrison was a popular Science Fiction writer, best known for his novel Make Room! Make Room! He began his career as an illustrator for EC Comics' Weird Fantasy and Weird Science, and had an influential career writing both comics and novels. He is recognized for his humorous and satirical Science Fiction works, and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2004, and named the 26th SFWA Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2008.
Harvey Kurtzman was an American cartoonist, writer and editor. He featured regularly in Mad magazine throughout the 1950s, with his work being largely satirical. In 1988, The Harvey Award was named in Kurtzman's honor. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1989, and his work was listed five times in The Comics Journal's 'Top 100 Comics of the 20th Century'.
Dan Barry was an American cartoonist, recognized for helping to define the 'New York Slick' style, which dominated comic pages until the Kirby style took hold at Marvel. His comics career began in the 1940s, where he worked on comics such as Doc Savage, Blue Bolt, and the Tarzan daily strip. Reviving the Flash Gordon daily strip in 1951, his work is well respected. He drew for Flash Gordon until 1990, and created the official 1980s movie poster.
Frank Frazetta was an American fantasy and science fiction artist, noted for his work in comic books, movie posters, and animated features. He was intducted into Will Eisner's Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2003, the acclaimed documentary Frazetta: Painting with Fire was released, covering Frazetta's fifty years in the world of art.
One of the founding cartoonists of Mad magazine in 1952, Jack Davis is recognized for his film posters, album art, and numerous comic stories. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2005 following a retrospective exhibition of his career. He received the National Cartoonists Society's Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996 and their prestigious Reuben Award in 2000. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Amazon's description contains many glaring errors. First it is Two Years worth of strips not Three. Second it is 224 pages and not the 208 they list. And finally and most importantly the creator Dan Barry is not the New York Reporter and Journalist of the same name.
In 1951 Dan Barry was asked by King Features to restart the Daily strip which was canceled in 1944 when Flash Gordon lost Alex Raymond and Austin Briggs moved from the Daily to the Sunday. Starting soon after the second storyline Harvey Kurtzman was hired by Barry to write the strip. A task he maintained for about a year. He did breakdowns much like he did for his acclaimed EC Comics work. Two dozen of those breakdowns are included here. Mr. Barry also received help for a couple weeks on the strip from Mad Magazine artist Jack Davis and Master Fantasy Artist Frank Frazetta. The Frazetta penciled strips before Dan Barry inked them are all included so you can contrast and compare.
I must say that between the writing of Harvey Kurtzman and Dan Barry's own scripts the writing here is much better then in the earlier Alex Raymond volumes written by Don Moore. While those Raymond volumes are gorgeous to look at, the writing makes it a slog to read through. These stories are well paced and fun reads. With the second story things seem to really come together and from here on out it the book is just a delight.
The first storyline is entitled SPACE PRISON this one is pre Kurtzman and was Barry's take on what the strip should be. It is a very hard science fiction based adventure, with none of fantasy elements the strip was known for. Flash and Dale Arden are set for a trip to Jupiter but are forced to make an emergency stop on the on the Space Prison. They get involved in a prison break and take over. One of the good hearted prisoners named Kent even joins Flash's crew at the end of this storyline.
In the next story THE CITY OF ICE they land on Ganymede and find an under world kingdom. Things quickly go from more realistic adventure to more traditional fantasy settings around the time Harvey Kurtzman joins the strip at about six weeks into the strip the second story. We also get several new re-occurring characters introduced in this story. The plucky teen aged boy Ray Carson and his missing scientist father. Plus the beautiful but deadly Ice Queen herself Marla. Marla follows that tradition of falling head or heels in love with Flash. While the youth was intended to bring in younger readers, Marla brings a new dimension to the group and does unscrupulous things that Dale could not be pictured doing.
At end of our last adventure our heroes are separated and Flash, Marla and the boy Ray Carson find themselves on on the Planet Tanium. This is where the next three stories take place. In the first one we meet THE BUTTERFLY MEN and Marla makes a tragic error in killing a giant caterpillar.
In TARTARUS , the trio enter a city in which all the inhabitants look like horned Devils. This is the storyline where Jack Davis pitched in to pencil a weeks worth of strips. His more comedic style is obvious.
In THE AWFUL FOREST they are reunited with Kent the former Space Prisoner. Of course Marla uses her Sexy ways on poor Kent to try to gain monetary reward. At the end of this story the four characters seperate with Marla and Kent going back to Tartarus while Flash and Ray search for Dale Arden.
In MURLIN we meet a familiar wizard and his young daughter. This story was a kind of wonky time traveling story involving an invention called the Time Case. Our heroes first return to earth then get involved in an adventure in the future. Of course they find out what is going on 1,000 years in the future by bringing back a newspaper from then. I guess everyone believed newspapers are around forever. This is the storyline where Dan Barry took back over the writing reigns. While both creators were headstrong controllers, each thought they were in charge. The main other problem was Kurtzman insistance on using thumbnail breakdowns and wanting Dan Barry to follow them. Barry described the experience as "what if Hal Foster had to follow Dik Browne's layouts". He claims his art was suffering greatly. Speaking of art this is the one where young Frank Frazetta did full pencils for seven strips while Barry got caught up with both the additional writing duties and other more lucrative commercial art assignments.
The final story is the longest in this collection. THE SPACE KIDS ON ZORAN which brings back Ray Carson and introduces a whole gang of youthful "want to be" outer space explorers. I guess in 1953 nobody worried about child endangerment as Flash takes five boys and one of the boy's father on a test flight rocket to another planet.
This Beautiful Volume gets my Highest Recommendation.
What changed for most of us was the revival of Alex Raymond's grand and glorious vision in the first Flash Gordon issue published by King Comics in the mid 60s, returning to planet Mongo to face the evil Ming The Merciless. Al Williamson had grown up in the 30s, his imagination fired by the grand, operatic wonder that was the original strip, and he brought that vision back to life. For me, and countless others, it was almost like finding a new religion. For many of us, Alex Raymond became our new artistic hero.
I had gotten a slight sneak peak a few years earlier when my mother brought home a 1959 book from her library job called "Comic Art in America" by Stephen Becker. It reprinted a single 1936 Alex Raymond page that simply blew me away with its power and elegance. I felt a deep ache of longing to see more of his pages, and I felt absolutely cheated and swindled by the mediocre and unremarkable Raboy version. Why couldn't we have something wonderful like that? (Mac Raboy was one of the greatest comic book artists of the 40s, but once he got the newspaper strip assignment, he settled into a routine so lacking in sense of wonder that French comics historian Maurice Horn labeled him "a talentless hack," apparently unaware of his former greatness.) I think most newspaper strips, by the 50s, had toned down considerably from their prewar magnificence, but this one had lost its special essence perhaps the most.
This book reprints the daily strip version of pretty much the same thing: a spaceman strip devoid of any swashbuckling or operatic splendor. I actually love Dan Barry's earlier work for DC Comics, and it's been said that he, along with Alex Toth, helped create the new DC house style as noirish detectives and crime stories replaced superheroes, but reading in the introduction that he made a conscious choice to abolish anything to do with Raymond's vision is especially galling. Because he himself didn't like the original strip, he chose to reduce it to a pure adventure strip. So as far as I'm concerned, the content of this book cannot exceed 3 stars at most. It's the same swindle and short-changing of a historic milestone strip into something far less, similar to DC turning the editorship of Wonder Woman over to Robert Kanigher, a man who hated the strip and proceeded to ruin it in any way possible.
I only purchased this volume for the week's worth of dailies penciled by Frazetta, but find that it delivers less than a previous Flash Gordon book that covered that episode in greater detail. The Photostats of Frazetta's pencils were first published in Squa Tront fanzine, in far better detail and resolution, and this volume doesn't even feature all of them, though it easily could have. Frazetta's penciling prowess in that handful of strips is positively breathtaking, and Barry's heavy handed inking almost makes his wondrous style undetectable. (Yes, I'm sure it was supposed to, since it was Barry's strip.)
Barry's artwork is fine, and deserves some respect, but I know I won't be purchasing any future volumes. I just hope no one reads it, thinking that this is the "real" Flash Gordon. It compares about as well to Alex Raymond's creation as Klinton Spilsbury does to Clayton Moore's Lone Ranger, in my opinion. Nothing about his characterization under Barry has anything to do with the heroic figure struggling against a strange, elemental and exotic world in his heyday. Any generic space-suited hero could substitute for him here; it could've been called anything.
It's fine artwork, but this Flash Gordon, as I see it, is Flash Gordon in name only.
The problem for me is with size. The dailies are printed at what you could say it's the standard size in this kind of reprint volumes nowadays, but Barry's artwork is very detailed and it begs to be printed at a larger size. The introduction is illustrated, among other things, with an oversized printing of two panels of the first daily, and it looks glorious. I understand printing all the strip at a big size would make the books much more expensive, and price is one of the good things about Titan editions, but...