Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Alex Raymond Lives

Just wanted to talk about Alex Raymond and his continuing influence today ...

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

Above is 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 in a while, he'd would hold up a photocopy of art (by Wally Wood, or some other EC 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 56 years after his tragic death, it all becomes apparent. But I don't have to work at writing about it. The pictures tell you.

-- This was an edited version of a November 29, 2006 blog entry.

Related: IDW's Library of American Comics reprints RIP KIRBY and Flash Gordon.

1 comment:

Brian Fies said...

Raymond was HUGELY influential on a couple of generations of artists--his name in one of a few (along with Hal Foster) that comes up over and over in old interviews. And of course subsequent generations were influenced by the artists who were influenced by him, echoing down more than half a century, many not even knowing it was Raymond at the root. He was a giant.