Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Alex Raymond in the 1950s

Alex Raymond was one of THE great magazine illustrators of the 20th century. In the 1930s, he became a cartoonist with the Dashiell Hammett-created strip, SECRET AGENT X-9. He then moved to the Sunday color comics pages of the newspapers and gave the world FLASH GORDON, without which we may never have had STAR WARS! He also did lovely work on JUNGLE JIM, which itself inspired movies, TV shows, comic books, etc. 

After World War II, rather than return to FLASH GORDON, Raymond created the intellectual, well-to-do, bespectacled private eye, RIP KIRBY.  With his earlier work still being so influential, it's easy to forget that RIP KIRBY not only found an audience but Raymond became better known than ever. 

The handsome artist got quite a bit of newspaper publicity  in the 1950s until his tragic and controversial death in 1956. (See Dave Sim's book, THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND.) 

Raymond even became the twice-elected head of the National Cartoonist Society and hob-nobbed with celebs and politicians...even the President of the United States!



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