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.

1 comment:

Mark Anderson said...

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