Rob welcomes fellow podcaster Nicholas Prom to discuss not one, but two treasury editions starring Flash Gordon!
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10 responses to “TreasuryCast #71 – Flash Gordon”
I really enjoyed your discussion of a classic comic strip like Flash Gordon. Over the last several years, I’ve been collecting the hardcover collections of Dick Tracy, Popeye, Gasoline Allet, Prince Valiant, Steve Canyon, Li’l Abner, and Peanuts (of course). Newspaper strips were once a much more widespread form of popular entertainment than comic books ever were. I’d highly recommend anything by Noel Sickles (Scorchy Smith) & Milton Caniff.
Fyi : In 1956, Eva Marie Saint followed up her Oscar winning role in On the Waterfront by co-starring opposite Bob Hope in “That Certain Feeling.” Hope plays the ghost artist for a popular & wealthy cartoonist (George Sanders). Jerry Mathers & Pearl Bailey also appear in this movie, which was based on a Broadway play.
Jack Lemmon also plays a prosperous comic strip creator in How to Murder Your Wife (1965).
“Kelly’s Heroes.” Eh. They’ll always be Robbies to me…
Otherwise, though, another fascinating episode about some books I’d never even heard of. It’s yet another case of obscure publishing projects coming to light (for me at least), and it seems like there is a bottomless well of them from the 1970s in particular. (Although I have to admit that had heard of the Pacific Comics Club before, I just didn’t know about this specific Flash Gordon book).
As for the pinball machine that is a cool find, and I think it’s fantastic that you were able to get it repaired without breaking your bank. Personally, I’m not really into pinball, but I do like any pop culture artifact that’s based on the Flash Gordon movie, which is a camp classic that I unironically love.
Great show I’m fan of the old Flash Gordon tv show and defenders of the earth .
I’m just wondering is Prince Valiant a member of the defenders of the earth or not?
I don’t remember Valiant in the TV series or its comic, but there was a similar crossover/team up about ten years ago called King’s Cross where he did show up.
I ask cause I think he showed up in the cartoon defenders of the earth and think the phantoms daughter had a crush on his son if I remember the episode right I think the tittle was :terror in time I might be wrong about that .
Great discussion guys. Rob definitely has Flash-Mania. It’s adorable. I’m extremely envious of that pinball machine as well. It’s long been a dream of mine to own a character-based pinball or arcade game. I will just have to live vicariously through my friend a bit longer.
Comic strips were definitely more of a prestigious gig than comic BOOK artists at one time, for sure. One reason Bob Kane looked at everyone who touched Batman other than himself as a “ghost” was because Kane desperately wanted to be a comic strip artist celebrity. If you look at Kane’s treatment of the other artists through that perspective, you can somewhat understand, although not excuse, his behavior.
I bought some of those “Modern Comics” reprints of the Charlton titles right around the time Crisis was happening, and DC had bought the characters. It was kind of neat seeing where Peacemaker and Judomaster came from!
One last thing to add on Flash Gordon: Much like Tex Blaisdell with his Alex Raymond gig, I ALMOST got to draw Flash Gordon on officially licensed merchandise. I drew and designed the packaging for an 8″ Flash Gordon figure based on Buster Crabbe. Castaway Toys unfortunately suffered the loss of their molds to some unscruplous folks at the factory in China, and the project was scrapped.
I’m not as good a Flash Gordon fan as I could be, but when I was buying one of the recent reprints of Alex Raymond, the comics shop owner put his old copies of the Dark Horse reprints of the Mac Raboy-drawn Sundays (1948-1964) in a more prominent place, and every couple of months I’d pick up one of those, too. So I’ve bracketed the Austin Briggs Sundays. What interests me now are these Austin Briggs dailies. Some adventure strips would tell a different adventure in the daily and the Sunday; The Phantom did. I’d have thought with a different artist, Flash Gordon would, too. But in 1940, Raymond was also drawing Flash’s adventures with the power men of Mongo. (On Sunday their bodysuit and cowl were colored red. With their feudal symbol of office being a lightning bolt across the chest, they look like they belong in another comic about another guy called Flash.) Pacific Comics Club, here I come!
Want to hear a weird theory about the Dan Barry treasury collection? Ok. Understand, starting in the early ’50s (I blame the release of the movie “Destination Moon” in 1950,) Mac Raboy started drawing a story about Flash, Dale, and Zarkov returning to Earth. When they finally got here, Zarkov kickstarted our space program. There was a first landing on the Moon story, quickly followed by the exploration of Mars, Venus, Neptune, etc., and settling down to Space Patrol type stories through the end of his collection. I wouldn’t be surprised that Dan Barry continued in that line — especially with Harry Harrison writing. Here comes the weird part: a publisher notices the rise of barbarians in paperback. (And John Carter! Can’t forget John Carter!) (I started by thinking in comic books, but I realized we don’t need that.) He remembers the sword vs. raygun of Flash Gordon from the ’30s and ’40s, not realizing the closest the current comic could come to that would be time travel.
Hey, what about the Al Williamson adaptation of the movie, published by Western/Whitman/Gold Key/Dell or whoever? It was a larger size, and also longer. Treasury?
Really, really fun episode.
Great guest, exciting topic, and an American Pickers style pinball acquisition story.
What more could anyone ask for?
Oh, and then we get some sweet Kubert School mentions and delightful pro artist stories.
Gold! Pure gold, Jerry!
God’s work, Rob.
Keep it up.
Fascinating episode. I didn’t even know these existed. I can’t say I am much of a Flash Gordon fan but loved the history you guys presented. Thanks!
First off, Rob, Kick ass pinball machine! I remember seeing Flash Gordon in the movie theatre when I was young. My friend Pauley’s dad took me, Pauley, and his brother Joey to see a matinee. After the movie was over, we loved it so much, his dad let us just sit in the theatre and watch it again. Since this was before cell phones, my mom wasn’t too pleased about me coming home two hours later than expected, but it imprinted that movie into my brain… especially Ornella Muti’s Princess Aura!
The Flash Gordon collections are definitely no frills, but I really like the art. It had an organic nature to the panel to panel art making it look more like movie stills than comic art. Good stuff. Plus, Flash has a good swing with that pipe. He’s like a right-handed Kyle Schwarber knocking those vikings over the right field fence. I’m hoping at least three of the listeners will understand that reference.
Great work as always.