Monday, February 20, 2012

Rarified Atmosphere

Whenever I'm feeling tired and overwhelmed, all I have to do is spend a few minutes with images that catapult me into the rarified atmosphere of fantasy, and I am energized like the ion thrusters of a space cruiser exiting an asteroid field.

The isolated panel below is one of my all time favorites from the golden age of 'science fiction', or more aptly 'space opera' or just plain 'fantasy adventure'. Totally unsophisticated, it is supremely iconic of the genre, from Flash Gordon to Buck Rogers and beyond. Drawn by a young Murphy Anderson, Star Pirate must have influenced Ron Goulart and Gil Kane with their StarHawks, and I'd even venture that the young Frank Frazetta probably admired this work as well.

Imagine, if you will, the pulpy smell of old comics, and let your mind unfocus from your worries as it wanders the astro lanes from distant worlds — but always keep your blaster close at hand.

Murphy Anderson — Planet Comics #50 _ 1947


Kid said...

Ah, Murphy Anderson - probably the best inker Curt Swan ever had.

Pyracantha said...

I've always wondered whether someone could actually wear the ribbon-halter costume worn by the space babe in this picture.

BrittReid said...

I've always felt Anderson was DC's counterpart to Joe Sinnott, a superb, slick inker who could enhance great pencils (like Gil Kane or Curt Swan) and save poor pencil art (I'm too polite to name 'em).