Wednesday, November 29, 2006

RIP KIRBY by Alex Raymond

Today, the pictures do the work. And such wonderful pictures.

Here's a daily strip titled RIP KIRBY by the great Alex Raymond. Mr. Raymond also drew FLASH GORDON, JUNGLE JIM, and SECRET AGENT X-9.

After serving in the Marine corps in WWII, he created his fourth syndicated comic strip: RIP KIRBY. Mr. Raymond served as president of the National Cartoonists Society from 1950-51. He died in an automobile accident on September 6, 1956. Alex Raymond's art influenced Frazetta, Williamson, Stout, and Mark Schultz, among others.

I haven't much to add except a story about a time when I first came to NYC and assisted a comic book artist.

I took a class from a comic book artist at Parsons in the 1980s. I soon was assisting him in his freelance comics work, working my regular job from 9-5, then off to his studio to work until midnight.

Every once ina while, he'd would hold up a piece of art from a comic (by Wally Wood, or some other great), and tell us young assistants, "LOOK at the KNOWLEDGE." And I find myself using those same words today.

Look at the juxtaposition between light and dark. Look at the line work -- the difference between sky and water in the first panel. Look at that knowledge.

There is a reason why Alex Raymond's name still comes up. Looking at this 40 years after his tragic death, it all becomes apparent. But I don't have to work at writing about it. The pictures tell you.

An even bigger picture here.


Mark Anderson said...

Man oh man... They don't make 'em like that anymore...

Unknown said...