Can anyone tell me where and how to get a complete run of Alex Raymond/Mac Raboy Flash Gordon?


I have some Checker collections, some hardback, some softback. Which appear to be the dailies. And now IDW is offering new collections, which appear to be the Sundays. Plus other "Mac Raboy" collections, which I can't tell -- are they Sundays, dailies, or both?


I'm not quite sure what I've got, and/or what I need. Any advice would help.






Views: 2140

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Flash Gordon started as a Sunday strip, without a daily counterpart.(1) The first daily version, by Austin Briggs, ran in the first half of the 40s. Briggs took over the Flash Gordon Sundays when Raymond enlisted.


Mac Raboy took over the Sundays after Briggs. A second daily version, by Dan Barry, started in 1951. Barry took over the Sundays on Raboy's death.


Wikipedia's Flash Gordon page lists a number of reprints. The Nostalgia Press series from the 70s was in colour. My recollection is it rearranged the panels to fit them onto its pages while still printing them at a large size. I remember seeing a reprint in landscape format, I think in B&W, in the early 90s. That might be the Kitchen Sink Press version, but I can't confirm that. The opening volumes of the Checker version are in landscape format and colour (I haven't seen the later ones).


Wikipedia also has a "List of Flash Gordon comic strips" page. I have a standard size paperback collecting some of Dan Barry's work called The Amazing Adventures of Flash Gordon volume three, and this helped me figure out where its contents came from. (They're Sunday stories from 1971.)


Somewhere along the way it became normal for Sunday strips to be prepared with drop panels/art areas, so they could be printed in different formats. I don't know when this started being the case with Flash Gordon


(1) Hence Raymond did Secret Agent X-9 dailies at the same time for a while. Flash Gordon's topper was Jungle Jim.

Man, I wish there was a definitive reprint series of this comic strip. How are the Checker editions? I haven't seen any. I am currently reading a Checker edition of Steve Canyon, and LOVE it!

I have a few Flash reprints here and there, but the strangest is one from the 1970s that is the size of a regular paperback novel (as Luke describes). It simply does one -- maybe two -- panels per page. Kind of weird, but you fly through reading it!

It's strange that Buck Rogers has a better reprint record than Flash Gordon. I suppose its because Buck's star faded a little faster than Flash's, so he was cheaper to collect. Flash certainly had the better art.

I've only flicked through the first couple of Checker volumes. I had my doubts about the reproduction, but I don't know if my problem was with the reproduction or the fact that Raymond hadn't reached his peak in the period the volumes cover. I think they used shiny paper.


I don't know it's really case that Buck Rogers has a better reprint record than Flash Gordon. Flash Gordon didn't start until early 1934, it shared its Sunday page with Jungle Jim, and the first version of the daily strip didn't appear until the 40s, so I suppose there's less 30s Flash Gordon material than one might think. The Nostalgia Press volumes reprinted the series up to the downfall of Ming (1941), after which Flash and co. briefly returned to Earth.

Wikipedia's Flash Gordon page says the Kitchen Sink Press ones were in color.
Lumbering Jack said:

I have a few Flash reprints here and there, but the strangest is one from the 1970s that is the size of a regular paperback novel (as Luke describes). It simply does one -- maybe two -- panels per page. Kind of weird, but you fly through reading it!

Do you have the same response to the material as me - well-drawn, but dull?
Kitchen Sink Press: 6 hardcover volumes of Sundays; the complete Alex Raymond Sundays

Kitchen Sink Press: Two volumes of Austin Briggs dailies, 1940-1942.

Kitchen Sink Press: Dan Barry/Harvey Kurtzman dailies, Nov. 1951 – April 1953.

Checker: The complete Alex Raymond Sundays. (I don’t have this because I own KSP.)

Dark Horse: 4 volumes Mac Raboy Sunday (B&W), starting 1948

More recent offering include…

Flesk Publications: Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon. Indispensible! Trust me. (B&W)

Dark Horse: Two color volumes of Flash Gordon comic books.

I’m unfamiliar with new IDW collections…? I’ll have to look into those.

Luke: As a huge fan of the Sam Jones movie and the 1970s Filmation cartoon, I have found much of the Flash comics material lacking in action that I enjoyed in the "moving pictures" versions.I still buy it when I see it on the cheap, though.

I would love to see a "Handbook of the Marvel Universe"-style guide on characters, technology and places that were presented though the comic strip's run. Even a "wiki" on the Flash Gordon universe would be kind of neat. (There might be a wiki ... I never looked!)

Either would help me get my head around the Flash Gordon concept a little better, and probably increase my enjoyment of the franchise (with or without action).


Jeff: Wow, I hadn't realized there was that much available! Any chance it's all in similar shaped volumes?

Originally, Flash was an Earthman from the present day who had travelled to the planet Mongo with Dale and Zarkov and had adventures there. (Flash and Dale were shanghaied by Zarkov while the latter was temporarily deranged.)


Mongo was depicted as dominated by the tyrannical emperor Ming. Its inhabitants included humans and exotic races, such as the Lion Men, Shark Men and Hawkmen. There were also exotic kingdoms inhabited by humans, such as the forest kingdom of Arboria  and the frozen kingdom of Frigia. The people of Mongo had more advanced technology than us in some respects, but their societies were monarchies and much of Mongo was wilderness. Initially the humans on Mongo were drawn as Asian, but later this element was dropped, except in Ming’s case, and the humans in the strip wore European-style court dress and uniforms.


In contrast to Buck Rogers, who would find a clever way out of a trap, the Flash of this era was mainly brave and extremely tough. (Whereas the 1980 film’s Flash was a footballer, the strip’s was introduced as a “Yale graduate and world-renowned polo player”.) Dale was from the pretty and useless school of heroines.


The original writer was Don Moore (who also wrote Jungle Jim). Once Alex Raymond hit his stride the strip was very well drawn. Unlike Buck Rogers, the strip was completely humourless.


Later - in the Dan Barry-era strips I’ve seen - Flash was a man of the future who was an experienced astronaut, who did troubleshooting jobs for World Space Control. Barry’s Flash wasn’t as physically tough as Raymond’s, but he was at home with his era’s technology and capable. His Dale apparently worked for World Space Control too. In the strips I have she’s there in the stories, but very much in Flash’s shadow.


The 1980 film was very faithful to the original version of the strip. There was a TV show in the 1950s which depicted him as a space hero of the future, as in the Barry era strip.


I don’t know how the strip got from the one version to the other. Flash was already on his way to Mongo by the end of the first strip, so for years it didn’t touch upon what was happening back on Earth. In the Barry era sequences I have there are some bits where Flash’s future looks a lot like the world of today, and other bits where it doesn’t. Some stories from the Barry era involved Mongo and/or its associated characters, but a lot didn’t.


The Jim Keefe Sundays I've seen featured adventures on Mongo.


You might find Wikipedia’s page on the strip worth a read, as it mentions other spin-offs. These include three serials from 1936-1940 which starred Buster Crabbe. The first of these was very faithful to the original version of the newspaper strip, like the 1980 film. Although in English, the 50s TV show was actually made in Germany and France. Episodes from the first and third serials, and the TV show, can be found at Internet Archive. DVDs with TV show episodes sometimes turn up in places that sell cheap DVDs.


Incidentally, there was another long-running SF strip that started in the 30s, Brick Bradford. It started in 1933 and lasted to 1987. From 1952 it was drawn by Paul Norris, who co-created Aquaman. Buck Rogers, which started in 1929, only made it to 1967, but the strip was revived in 1979-1983 due to the TV show.

I’m unfamiliar with new IDW collections…? I’ll have to look into those.

Apparently the upcoming IDW releases (coming "late 2011") will duplicate the complete Alex Raymond Sunday material already published/available via KSP/Checker with the addition of the Jungle Jim "toppers." The Jungle Jim strip have also been previously published (by Pacific Comics Club, IIRC). I'm not sure I'll buy the new set just for the Jungle Jim toppers; guess I'll decide when I see it solicited in Previews.

I wasn't able to find any information about other, new Mac Raboy collections, but if there were some that reprinted beyond the four volumes already available from Dark Horse I would be interested. Haven't see anything along these lines in Previews, either.

The questions to ask might be what the quality of IDW's reproductions will be like, whether they will be in colour, and what size they're going to be. I think Jungle Jim used to get a couple of tiers, not just one.


Incidentally, for those who don't know, after the war Raymond drew a strip about a college-educated private eye, Rip Kirby.

...Recently , COMICS REVUE has been reprinting both Raboy Sundays , looking to have been reproduced from original strips (which I like) and Dan Barry dailies from the late 50s/very early 60s that are written by the SF writer Harry Harrison , these are quite interesting to me , they have Flash as a contemporary Spaceman In The Grey Flannel Suit/Organization Spaceguy , living in a future-world ( It's definitely a future world , one story had him going back to contemporary Earth . ) and dealing with matters there when he's not dealing with outerworlds doings . - rather reflecting the IKE/JFK era , with at least a bit of implied humor/satire .

  In the 90s , Jim O'Keefe returned the strip to a " back to basics " concentration on Ming and Dale again ( I guess back to Sundays only then?? ) , which apparently got it some pick-ups for a while , but it got ended as a new strip during the 00s , but is still offered by KFS in O'Keefe reprints . O'Keefe actually concluded his version of the strip , though in a way that would allow it to start back up some day .

  Does anyone have or know about that book collecting AlWilliamson's various versions of the strip over the years ?

  Furthermore , it appears that these collections of comic-book Flash have even gone beyond Al's original King period , chronologically , to the Charlton years !

Reply to Discussion



No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.









© 2020   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service