Friday, November 23, 2012

Blogging Austin Briggs’ Flash Gordon, Part Nine “The Isle of the Elvins”

“The Isle of the Elvins” was the ninth installment of Austin Briggs’ daily Flash Gordon comic strip serial for King Features Syndicate. Originally published between April 22, 1943 and March 25, 1944, “The Isle of the Elvins” follows on directly from “The Royal Hunt” with Queen Tigra of Forestia accidentally losing her way back to the capitol and leading Flash and Dale into Lost Lake where a fabled treasure stolen from Forestia long ago is believed to be buried. The trio finds a rowboat and set out to cross the lake when the boat’s owner overtakes them and capsizes their rowboat. Flash is overcome by the stranger and nearly drowned and has to be rescued by Dale and Tigra. The stranger takes possession of Flash’s ray gun and takes the trio captive. He introduces himself as Doron, King of the Elvins who live on an island in Lost Lake. Soon they are joined by the diminutive form of the Elvin General Krom. At long last with the introduction of the Elvins, Austin Briggs steps out of Alex Raymond’s shadow and produces a storyline with characters worthy of the series that are not pale imitations of what has gone before in the Sunday strip. Arriving on the island as slaves, the trio is surrounded by the Elvins who hop up and down excitedly repeatedly shouting, “More girls!” Clearly Briggs was enjoying himself with this strip. General Krom takes a shine to Tigra calling her “curly-top” (one can’t help but think of Shirley Temple's film of the previous decade) while the indignant Queen of Forestia dismisses her captor as “monkey-face.” Flash comes to Tigra’s defense, but is quickly overwhelmed by the little people's sheer number in a scene that recalls the Lilliputians of Gulliver’s Travels. TO CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE VISIT THE BLACK GATE ON FRIDAY.

No comments:

Post a Comment