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Erica Henderson, June Brigman, more tackle Flash Gordon for anniversary event

Flash Forward
(Image credit: King Features Syndicate)

The 40th anniversary of the cult-favorite film Flash Gordon is on December 5, and in advance of the milestone the character is being celebrated in film, consumer products, and where he started - comics. 

This past Sunday, King Features launched Flash Forward - a comic strip anthology with 40 artists giving their take on Flash Gordon. 

(Image credit: Jim Keefe (King Features))

The current artist of the Flash Gordon newspaper strip Jim Keefe kicked off the serialized anthology, with future artists to include Erica Henderson, June Brigman, Tana Ford, Sina Grace, Joanne Starer, Khary Randolph, Mx Struble, Pia Guerra, Liniers, and Denis Kitchen. The strips will be serialized at King Features' Comics Kingdom website.

"From your favorite funny page cartoonists to top comic book artists, animators, graphic novelists, and web cartoonists, this new product offering of Flash Gordon-inspired comic strips from King Features is an anniversary celebration that everyone who loves the Savior of the Universe will enjoy in both print and digital formats," reads the announcement. 

Other projects planned for the anniversary include screenings of the film in over 330 theaters across the world, a motion comic series on YouTube, new action figures from Boss Fight Studio and NECA, a retro-style board game later this year from Plastic Meatball, and more.

"Flash Gordon's comic adventures have influenced how we define the modern science fiction genre, but the 1980 film is what really solidified the comic star as a lasting pop-culture icon," said Carla Silva, vice president, and general manager, global head of licensing of King Feature in the announcement. "We are thrilled to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film this year with such a strong lineup of partners from across the globe. It's our mission to continue bringing fans new Flash Gordon products and experiences that showcase their love for the savior of the universe."

Read our recent oral history of the Flash Gordon film.

Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.