Flash Gordon and Star Wars

The Flash Gordon released today (5/27/2012) originally ran on February 6, 2000.

One of the criticisms I got back in the day was that it was too similar to a scene from The Empire Strikes Back.

Artwork by Al Williamson.

Granted it isn’t the first time someone noticed a similarity…

Battle underneath the Hawkmen’s City in the Clouds.

Cloud City from The Empire Strikes Back – Art by Al Williamson.

The similarity between Williamson’s figure of Luke and mine of Flash was actually an unconscious swipe on my part – sometimes you have strong imagery in your head for a particular shot only to realize later that the imagery is another cartoonist’s drawing that’s locked in your memory banks.

I always thought it was ironic when people said I was borrowing from Star Wars when Star Wars actually was inspired by Flash Gordon to begin with. Here’s George Lucas talking to Leonard Maltin in regards to the Flash Gordon/Star Wars connection…

After getting those criticisms I tried from that point on to veer away from scenes inspired too heavily by something I had seen or read.  The last thing a reader wants is to be pulled out of a story because of a feeling of déjà vu. Looking back it was part of my writer’s learning curve.

Note: To follow Flash Gordon on the web, check out Daily Ink.

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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