Flash Gordon 3/1/1998 – Reference Pics


Reference pictures are crucial for me when drawing, especially for action shots or panels that involve a number of characters interacting. It’s the best way to get a proper feel for how figures interact.

For example, here’s the Flash Gordon page I did for March 1, 1998.

Click on images to see larger.

Now this page would have been done a couple months in advance – around Christmas/New Years. So luckily I had a number of models (in the form of in-laws at holiday get-togethers) to chose from.

Here we have my wife’s cousin Louie as Durok (the blue ape-man),
trying to blow off  Thun the Lion-man’s head – played by my wife’s nephew, Chris.


And for this shot we change it up a little with Louie as Flash Gordon, Chris reprising his role as Thun, and yours truly as Durok.

As you’ll notice, I don’t just copy the reference, but use it as a jumping off point.
This is CRUCIAL, as otherwise you get a stiff and lifeless drawing.


Speaking of which… Back when these pics were shot (late 1990s) I didn’t have access to any fancy pants digital camera that you could just take a picture then access it immediately. I took the pictures, then had to wait until the film got developed to see if my reference shots were even in the ballpark (much less in focus).

I still have that old album of Flash Gordon reference pics I took.

Lots of family got roped in to doing these over the years.
Some of the ones on the right hand side of the image shown above can be seen on a previous post: Flash Gordon 1/26/2003 – Photo Reference.

I’ll try to post more of these from time to time.
For me they’re a fun trip down memory lane…

-Jim Keefe

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For more of my work on Flash Gordon, just check out FlashGordon.com

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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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