“Growing up in California, I was enchanted by two things…race cars and Flash Gordon. The first love I put to use in American Graffiti, the second eventually turned into Star Wars.” –George Lucas
London-based publishing company Titan Books, which specializes in books about films and television shows from 24: The Official Companion to the essential The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made, has announced plans to publish a series of hardcover books entitled The Complete Flash Gordon Library. You can check out the cover art for the first volume, entitled On the Planet Mongo, at the end this article.
Each volume of the series will be easily affordable and feature fully restored versions of every single Flash Gordon comic strip and story ever published. The pages will measure 11″ X 10″ and each volume will contain 176 or more pages of vibrant, full-color outerspace adventure starring the legendary character first created by Alex Raymond in 1934, but since handed down over the decades to a variety of gifted writers and artists who have kept Raymond’s legacy alive including Austin Briggs, Mac Raboy, Dan Barry, and more. The first volume will feature a foreword by acclaimed artist Alex Ross (Kingdom Come). The entire project was put together with the assistance of noted comic strip historian Pete Maresca.
This is fantastic news for comic book and science fiction geeks out there. The original Flash Gordon strips featured some of the most unique artistry and storytelling yet seen in the medium and would become a great influence on generations of comic writers and artists. The visual look of the 1980 Flash Gordon movie borrowed heavily from Alex Raymond’s artwork while merging it with the Italian fumetti aesthetic that production designer Danilo Donati brought to the film.
The first volume of The Complete Flash Gordon Library, On the Planet Mongo, will be released on March 23, 2012.