The first-ever ‘Flash Gordon’ comic strip rakes in more than half a million dollars at auction

Science Fiction would be incomplete without Flash Gordon. And in celebrating the 1930s sci-fi hero, a comic strip featuring his very first appearance was sold for almost half a million dollars at an auction on Tuesday. Yes, you heard it! The illustrative art created by Alex Raymond has also set a record after garnering over $480,000 on sale.

The comic strip was first published on January 7, 1934, in newspapers nationwide through King Features Syndicate. It mirrored Raymond’s original art in pencil and ink on a 28.25″ x 23″ illustration board and was quick to surpass several comic characters in popularity. Thereafter, the iconic art went to influence many artists (including Marvel Comics co-creator Jack Kirby and filmmaker George Lucas who used Flash Gordon as a model for Star Wars) and was published in 130 newspapers around the world. It was also translated into eight different languages while amassing a fan base upwards of 50 million people in its reigning decade.

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Commenting on it, the auctioneer in a statement said, “Alex Raymond’s realistic style and skillful use of feathering (a mid-tone shading technique using a series of parallel lines to give form and volume to objects and figures) influenced comic luminaries such as Jack Kirby, Russ Manning, Bob Kane, and Al Williamson, just to name a few,” He further added, “Flash Gordon is regarded as one of the best illustrated and most influential of American adventure comic strips. Siegel and Shuster based Superman’s uniform of tights and a cape on costumes worn by Flash.” The original artwork for Jungle Jim #1 was also sold at the same auction for $90,000.

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[Via: New Atlas]

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A lawyer with a zeal for writing, Ekta has a deep love for linguistics, travel, and philosophy. Not an adrenalin junkie but likes going on occasional hikes to beat the weekday blues. Her bucket list includes escapades to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Morocco.