Thursday, January 20, 2005

In keeping with my long-standing tradition of losing all perspective when I find a new obsession, I'm now busily immersing myself in comic strip classics. And one thing I've found is, from Gold Key's Flash Gordon series, a two-part adaptation of the 1980 Flash Gordon movie, illustrated by longtime Flash artist Al Williamson.

Williamson, you may know, drew the strip for ages, and between that and his work on Marvel's Star Wars comics, was one of the greatest sci-fi comics artists of all time. His work on this adaptation, freed from the confines of the daily four-panel format, is lush and rich, filled with emotion, drama, and kinetic action.

Too bad the movie itself is just about the gayest thing ever.

I don't mean bad, though it certainly is that--I mean gay, flaming, fabulous, campier than the Queer Eye guys performing the hits of Judy Garland. Come on, the soundtrack was by Queen. For the gym queens, there's Sam J. Jones as Flash. For the bear daddies, there's Brian Blessed in a leather harness.

There's even Rocky Horror creator Richard O'Brien.

Richard's the one on the right. The guy with the porn star 'stache is Timothy Dalton.

I just have to wonder if, as Williamson was drawing this, he knew that it was based on a piece of shite that owed more to Phantom Of The Paradise than to Star Wars. Or if he only saw Bruce Jones' script, and thus was mercifully spared lines like "Flash! I love you--but we only have fourteen hours to save the earth!" The best analogy I can draw is if Frank Miller had been hired to adapt Batman and Robin.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen

The guy in the first comic there (on the right, asking if he should destroy those pesky humans)looks like the sith in that one star wars movie!!!
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