Musings and Mumbling on What I Read and Watch and Listen To.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Blogging Austin Briggs’ Flash Gordon - Part Eleven, “Kang the Cruel” / “The Skymen”
“Kang the Cruel” was the twenty-third installment of the Flash Gordon Sunday comic strip serial for King Features Syndicate. Originally published between February 11 and May 20, 1945, “Kang the Cruel” was the first strip without the story input of creator Alex Raymond. It was illustrated by Austin Briggs, who had succeeded Raymond as the strip’s artist the previous year and was scripted by Don Moore.
The story gets off to a strong start with Flash, Dale, and Dr. Zarkov returning to Mingo City unaware that Prince Barin has been deposed and a usurper sits on the throne. The usurper is Kang the Cruel, the son of Ming the Merciless. The only disappointment is that Austin Briggs’ artwork pales in comparison with Alex Raymond.
Zarkov’s rocketship is shot down by an air patrol led by Kagi, Kang’s lieutenant. Firefighters rush to the crash site as Kang has given orders the Earthmen are to be taken alive. Flash is spirited away by Darin, a freedom fighter who has infiltrated Kang’s air patrol. The new emperor proves he is as cruel a despot as his father ordering the firefighter who allowed Darin to escape to be flayed, sprayed with ice, and then placed in steam until he dies.
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I was licensed by Sax Rohmer's Literary Estate to continue the Fu Manchu thrillers. THE TERROR OF FU MANCHU was published in 2009 and was a Pulp Factory Awards nominee for Best Pulp Novel. THE DESTINY OF FU MANCHU was published in April 2012.
My short fiction has appeared in THE RUBY FILES (2012/Airship 27), GASLIGHT GROETESQUE (2009/EDGE Publishing), TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN (2009/Black Coat Press), and LES COMPAGNONS DE L'OMBRE (2010/Riviere Blanche) and in the magazine, Van Helsing's Journal.
I am a former weekly columnist for The Cimmerian and am currently a weekly columnist for The Black Gate. My articles have been published in the magazines Blood 'n' Thunder, Van Helsing's Journal, and The Official Magazine of The Peter Sellers Appreciation Society. I was very honored to be nominated for a Rondo Award for Best Article of 2010 for a contribution to Van Helsing's Journal.
I recently collaborated with Tom Bleecker on the screenplay adaptation of his new novel, TEA MONEY. Still to come is THE OCCULT CASE BOOK OF SHANKAR HARDWICKE (a collection of short fiction featuring an original Edwardian detective) and a hardboiled detective novel, LAWHEAD.