Flash Gordon Francesco Marciuliano Sally Forth

Sally Forth/Flash Gordon Jam


The Back Story: The illustration above was actually my way of introducing myself to Sally Forth’s writer, Francesco Marciuliano, when I was initially trying out for drawing Sally Forth. (More on that in a previous post…)

It was originally part of a Sunday page I wrote and drew to show that I wouldn’t be drawing Sally Forth in the Flash Gordon style I was known for.

Here’s the genesis of the page starting with the partially inked pencils.


I hadn’t quite nailed the character’s likenesses in the first draft so I ended up inking the faces again then pasting them on the original.


Still was a little off – after checking my reference I discovered the style sheets I had were dated. I ended up inking the faces a third time on a separate piece of paper then making the switch in photoshop.


Last but not least, color was added (photoshop again) and the faux Sunday page was finished.

Click on image to see larger.
Click on image to see larger.

To wrap up, here’s the Al Williamson drawing (based on the 1980s movie the Forth family is watching) that I paid homage to in the splash panel.


Artists - Cartoonists Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon Page specs

Just got a question from Jim Frankenstin regarding the specs I used for Flash Gordon – thought I would answer it here for those interested…

Here’s my basic template.


This first strip is an example of a drop panel with a standard two tier layout underneath.
The drop panel is artwork the newspaper can opt not to print and it won’t affect the main body of the strip.

This second example is a drop panel followed by an irregular panel layout. Flash was offered in two formats; half page (with drop panel) and third page (without drop panel) so I could play with that bottom area however I felt as long as the proportions stayed the same.

I’ve played with different kinds of bristol and go back and forth between plate (smooth) and vellum (textured) – it usually depends on the job. I used 1-ply for awhile just because I didn’t have the best light box, but prefer 2-ply as it’s more durable.

I tended to work pretty small because the size it got printed was postage stamp size – far removed from the kind of real estate Alex Raymond had to work with in the Golden Age of the 1930s.

On the left, Flash Gordon 2/25/1934 by AlexRaymond.
On the right, Flash Gordon 11/10/2002 by Joe Kubert.

The size you work in is really dependent on the artist – as long as it stays proportional to the required specs. Patrick McDonnell on Mutts tends to work small compared to Ray Billingsley whose Curtis originals were larger than any other strip I saw during my tenure on staff at King.

Any other questions – just keep ’em coming…

Comics Revue Flash Gordon

Comics Revue – June 2012

Just got the latest issue of Comics Revue. The illustration I did for the cover spotlights a 1957 Mac Raboy Flash Gordon storyline featured inside.
Here’s a CliffNotes version of the process I did for drawing the cover…

Initial roughs sent to Rick Norwood over at Comics Revue. Rick picked number 2.
Thumbnail image – first draft.
Previews magazine – where the thumbnail image is featured for solicitation.
Inks for the magazine cover.
Finished color – done in Photoshop.
Favorite part – receiving the magazine.

To purchase online you can go to The artwork they have online is the thumbnail image but the magazine you get will have the image featured here.

To order a subscription to Comics Revue, check out their website at