Flash Gordon 4/28/1996

Nightfall on Mongo was officially my second story on Flash Gordon and I opted for werewolves as being the antagonists. I mean, who doesn’t like werewolves, right?

Drop panel from 5/26/1996

Flash comes upon Thorne, the wounded survivor of a downed spaceship.

Click on image to see larger.

I based Thorne’s look off of Kurt Russell.

One thing in this story that sticks out like a sore thumb to me is that the environment and wardrobe in no way looks like an alien world. Flash might as well be in upstate Minnesota. Also, I tried to modify the look of a helicopter to look like a small spacecraft by taking off the propellers – instead it just ended up looking like a helicopter without propellers…

Original art – Click on image to see larger.

Realizing I needed some strong feedback to strengthen my work, I sent pages to a couple of syndicated artists I was corresponding with at the time – George Evans and Bud Blake. Shown below are the critiques I got.

George Evans (1920-2001)

Bud Blake (1918-2005)

As far as critiques go friends and family tend to pull punches, professionals get the job done. I can’t stress enough how invaluable their input was. That Evans and Blake actually took the time to sketch up short tutorials was beyond generous – especially with the ever present syndicate deadlines they were under.

As far as my learning curve went, the next story I did I purposely retold Flash Gordon’s origin in order to give myself a refresher course on all things Mongo-esque…

Note: To follow Flash Gordon on the web, check out FlashGordon.com.

About Jim Keefe

Jim Keefe is the current artist of the Sally Forth comic strip, he is also the writer and artist of the Flash Gordon comic strip - both available at ComicsKingdom.com. A graduate of the Joe Kubert School, Keefe likewise teaches Comic Art. Teaching and speaking engagements include SVA in Manhattan, Hofstra’s UCCE Youth Programs, The University of Minnesota and most recently the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
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