Monday, March 26, 2012

National Cartoonist Society Profile: Alex Raymond

One of America's most influential comic strip and illustration artists, Alexander Gillespie Raymond is celebrated for his outstanding work on his Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim, Secret Agent X-9 and Rip Kirby for King Features Syndicate. Raymond is hailed by all as "an artist's artist," and his much-imitated, but seldom equaled style provided a legacy that would  inspire artists for generations to come. Here is his brief biography published by the NCS...He worked with Chic and Lyman Young for a while and then in 1934, the late Joe Connolly, president of King Features Syndicate, gave Raymond an idea for a Sunday page in color based on fantastic adventures similar to those of Jules Verne. This was Flash Gordon, the famed adventure feature. "I also did Jungle Jim as a top to the Gordon panel," Alex says, "and for about a year and a half I did Secret Agent X-9, but the strain grew too much and I dropped the later work." Comfortably settled as one of the nation's leading newspaper artists, Alex came to a crisis in his career: whether to remain a topflight cartoonist, or to go in for magazine illustration, for which he had shown a definite flair. He fiddled around with the latter medium, but after several years deliberation, made up his mind. "I decided honestly," he said, "that comic-art work is an art form in itself, it reflects the life and times more accurately and actually is more artistic than magazine illustration -- since it is entirely creative."

1 comment:

not2freekt said...

The first time I saw Raymond's work it was love. Still sit in awe of his efficient method of using just the right amount of strokes and weights and white space to convey form and evoke emotion.

I love guys like Wally Wood, Romita Jr. But what they do in hashes and wiggles he doe in one simple swipe. Wow.