The folks over at Titan Books informed me that they are in the midst of creating The Complete Flash Gordon Library. Younger readers might be thinking Flash Who? but Flash is the original space action hero, decades before Kirk and Kenobi, and was an immensely popular character, who started life as a comic strip but moved into movies, radio, TV, and comics. Titan is planning a series of restored full-color hardcover volumes that collects every strip and story. Flash was influential on the generations raised on his exploits, including George Lucas, who revealed, Growing up in California, I was enchanted by two things…race cars and Flash Gordon. The first love I put to use in American Graffiti, the second eventually turned into Star Wars.” Beat that!
Titan will begin the series with the original stories written and illustrated by the character’s creator, Alex Raymond, and will continue with the other illustrators who took the helm and ran with his creation: Austin Briggs, Mac Raboy, Dan Barry, and many more. Each page will be 11 x 10‚ specifically designed to spotlight the action-packed artistry of the creators, and each volume will feature 176 or more pages of full-color action. The first volume, On the Planet Mongo (cool cover!), due next March, will feature a foreword by illustrator Alex Ross, and future installments will offer other special features revealing the secrets behind the strip and its creators.
Anyone familiar with Titan’s absolute kickass Simon & Kirby series knows this publisher does things right and doesn’t scrimp on quality. Their reproductions are absolutely top shelf. Although not as popular as in years past, Gordon is no flash in the pan and only needs a new film incarnation (and since Hollywood recycles everything) to be put back in the public eye. In the meantime, grab the originals with these Titan titles.