We’ve talked here about our favorite covers on many occasions in the past, but it’s time we showed a little respect to the books that set the stage for the comics on which we were raised and the ones we’ve found in recent years. So buckle up for a bombastic ballyhoo of the best and brightest sequential showcases the swinging sixties saw fit to print. Man, talking like Stan Lee is exhausting. No wonder he’s looked worn out for 50+ years now.
Secret Six #1 , May 1968, Frank Springer
The cover of this debut issue is remarkable in that it’s also the first page of the actual story. I’ve always been fascinated with that notion, it’s not just some pin-up but in fact your first taste of the action. Sure, Secret Six was never one of DC’s hottest comics (certainly not in the Silver Age), but it’ll always have a place in history because of this cover.
As I get older I find myself more interested in what goes into artists’ costume designs for superheroes. So when I stumbled upon this it was a godsend. Apparently, Flash Gordon creator Alex Raymond had released these in 1934 as more or less toys for kids. Essentially, they were paper doll cutouts which you could dress up in various apparel. I’ve always appreciated Raymond’s gorgeous art so seeing these is a real treat. Despite their original intention they work more as a document of Flash Gordon intergalactic fashion from the 1930’s and Alex Raymond’s forward thinking futuristic sense of style.
Flash Gordon is one of the great heroes of science fiction that’s seemingly become more and more obscure, now regulated by people of my generation to only the cult 1980’s movie. Having really enjoyed the 1936 Movie Serial a few years back I decided to finally get my hands on the original newspaper strip. There are many different options in print, but I went with the most recent. Titan Books has all of creator Alex Raymond’s work on the character in three hardcover 11” x 10” rectangular coffee table books. The first volume, On The Planet Mongo covers the period of 1934-1937 and will be what today’s focus in the Pulp Corner.
Flash Gordon is a touchstone of both the science fiction and adventure genres that’s gone on to influence a staggering amount of what’s come after it (ever hear of Star Wars?). Starting first as a comic strip by Alex Raymond it debuted in 1934. 2 years later its success quickly led to 3 different sets film serials. The first one simply titled, Flash Gordon from 1936 will be today’s focus in the Pulp Corner.