Sunday, 11 May 2014

Alex Raymond: "The War Made A Realist Out Of Me"

ST. LOUIS POST-DESPATCH:
(from an artticle dated 11 February 1949, posted at Strippers Guide Blog)
Alex Raymond, the versatile artist who draws the popular adventure strip, "Rip Kirby," in the Everyday Magazine of the Post-Dispatch, came home from two years of fighting in the Pacific with some pretty definite ideas in mind. One idea was that while there is plenty of dough to be had in "escape" comics, he'd rather take less money and draw something that "helps reflect accurately the age in which we live."

"The war made a realist out of me," says Raymond, who looks more like a bond salesman than a creator of one of the most successful adventure comics on the market. "I lost my taste for the fantastic out in the Pacific. I came home determined to do something modern and real."

When Raymond enlisted in the Marines, he was already at the top of the comic art profession. For years he had been drawing "Flash Gordon," that futuristic portrayal of the blond young hunk of man who whips around distant planets with his girl friend Dale. But Raymond wasn't satisfied.

"Call it patriotism if you like," Raymond says a little apologetically, ''but I just had to get into this fight. I had three kids. I wasn't young. And comic artists were getting easy deferments because they were considered necessary for morale at home. But I've always been the kind of a guy who gets a lump in his throat when a band plays the Star-Spangled Banner and the flag goes by. Anyway, I got in it and I got out of it with a whole skin. I came back a different guy. And I wouldn't take a million bucks for the experience."

Back from the fighting with Raymond came Rip Kirby, the American professor - detective whose adventures are now printed in more than 300 newspapers throughout the United States and who has brought his creator, Alex Raymond, a lot of hard work but even more satisfaction.

"Rip is pretty difficult to do," says Raymond, an able and meticulous draughtsman. "I spend one day and night on the continuity. Then it takes me three days to pencil in a week's strips and another day to a day and a half inking in. I work three weeks ahead and I never seem to get ahead of myself. There's an awful lot of drawing in the strip"... [Read the full article at Strippers Guide Blog]

1 comment:

David Birdsong said...
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