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by Profiles in History
December 11, 2015, 11:00 AM PST | Calabasas, CA, US    Live Auction

Lot 7: Flash Gordon “Battles the Monster from Mongo”. (703 views)

Flash Gordon “Battles the Monster from Mongo”.
Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

7. (Frazetta) Flash Gordon “Battles the Monster from Mongo”. (1950) Accomplished in pen and ink on 15 x 24 in. artists’ leaf. Sensational inking and a rare image of Flash Gordon. A very large original. Rejected as a Buster Crabbe cover because it did not depict the actual image of Buster Crabbe. The upper left part of the page was torn and is missing. Frank added the logo to cover-up the missing area. The conventional wisdom about Frazetta and the science-fiction genre is that he had little motivation for the subject matter. Frank explained in several interviews that he had to push himself to get motivated enough to draw or paint in that genre. He much preferred the worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard. There are a couple of exceptions to this. The story goes that early in their friendship he was visiting Al Williamson. Al was showing a 16mm print of an early Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serial to some friends. Al, of course, loved those early Flash Gordon episodes and never tired of viewing the adventures of Flash and Ming the Merciless. While viewing the movie, Frank sat down at Al’s drawing board and started drawing a large version of Flash Gordon. He added a big monster and a shot of Dale Arden in the background. Flash had his obligatory signature headpiece on, of course. Everyone thought that headpiece was extremely cool. Frank brought the original back to his studio and did the final inking. This was in late 1950 or so. Later, Frank offered this piece to Steve Douglas, the art director at Famous Funnies that Al had introduced him to, for possible use as a Buster Crabbe Comics cover. Steve turned it down because he wanted shots of Buster Crabbe on the cover, not Flash Gordon. Frank threw the original on top of his cabinet and there it stayed until many years later when a friend (Frank said it was artist and friend Larry Ivie) grabbed a bunch of originals off the cabinet top and partially tore several pieces. Unfortunately, this Flash cover was torn and is missing a small portion of the monster’s left wing. Frank never repaired it. Many years later Frank sold the original art to rock star Glenn Danzig who kept it for many years before moving it to Hollywood writer and famous Seinfeld writer David Mandel. It finally landed in my collection. I took the Flash cover to Frank. He suggested that we simply cover up the torn area with a nice logo/stat. He told me what to do and I did it according to his direction. The cover is a huge 15 x 24 in., making it as large as the Weird Science Fantasy #29 cover, the largest of Frank’s illustrations. It is a powerful image and the monster is simply sublime. The inking is world class. One can easily see that Frank was having a lot of fun with this piece. Typical of Frank to take off Flash’s shirt and make him more visceral. No ray guns, no blasters, just hand-to-hand combat.
$40,000 - $60,000


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Lot 7: Flash Gordon “Battles the Monster from Mongo”.
Profiles in History
DocDave Winiewicz Frazetta Collection
December 11, 2015, 11:00 AM PST