Firsts and Lasts: The Daily Flash Gordon

Thirty years ago, mid-1993, a Flash Gordon story comes to an end.

And with the end of the story comes the end of the daily syndicated Flash Gordon comic strip.

Story and final 1993 dailies from The Clarksdale Press Register via

So on July 3, 1993 the daily Flash Gordon by Thomas Warkentin and an Argentina Art Studio ended:

(note: Argentina Art Studio = Andrés Klacik; hat tip Andreas Eriksson)

Though not for the first time.

Flash Gordon began as a Sunday comic strip with art by the incredible Alex Raymond on January 7, 1934.

Six years and five months later King Features developed a daily version with art by an uncredited Austin Briggs.

This first Flash Gordon daily series ran a bit more than four years from May 27, 1940 to June 3, 1944.

That “author gone to war” notice was actually about Sunday Flash Gordon artist Alex Raymond who had joined the Marines. King Features moved Briggs to the Sunday strip and cancelled the dailies rather than try another artist from their war-depleted bullpen reserves.

It took them seven years to revive the dailies, then they put comic artist Dan Barry in charge.

Using assistants and ghosts Barry stayed with the strip from November 19, 1951 until mid-1990.

Barry was followed by various writers and artists until thirty years ago today (see top of page).

The Dan Barry dailies can be read at Comics Kingdom’s Vintage page, which also carries the Barry Sundays of the late 1960s (new adventure starting next Sunday!). The Sunday Flash Gordon would continue for another ten years beyond the daily run. Those, by Jim Keefe from 1996 to 2003, can also be read at Comics Kingdom.

Flash Gordon is © King Features Syndicate

One thought on “Firsts and Lasts: The Daily Flash Gordon

  1. The O’Keefe run has had quite an afterlife. My hometown (Menomonie, WI)’s weekly paper The Dunn County News carried a full page of weekly King Features strips and panels in black and white including the still-new-when-they-dropped-comics POPEYE Sundays as well as KATZENJAMMER KIDS, each by veteran cartoonist Hy Eisman, along with ’40s HUBERT and BREGER repeats, and a half-dozen weekly rural-only King daily-format strips I’ve never seen before or since that couldn’t have earned their creators much if anything. The KIDS and FLASH went into rerun mode by 2003 and FLASH stuck around long enough to be on its third time through when the News dropped their comics page in its entirety. And the run is currently approaching the end of its run for the fourth time–which HAS to be a record for one strip’s discrete run. No offense to O’Keefe, who went on to far more success with SALLY FORTH, but instead of running his seven-plus run AGAIN, couldn’t somebody dig back into the archives and rerun some latterday Mac Raboy pages (Raymond-era pages being of size and format too different from the current requirements)? Please?

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