Description

    ALEX RAYMOND (1909-1956)
    Original Magazine Story Illustration, c.1936
    Ink on paper
    22in. x 20in. (sight size)
    Signed lower right: Alex Raymond

    This breathtaking illustration has an eerie and haunting resonance -- the grim reaper goads a beautiful couple to race on in their convertible. Twenty years later, Heart of Juliet Jones cartoonist Stan Drake and Alex Raymond suffered their own deadly high-speed crash.

    Writer Arlen Schumer interviewed Drake about the accident in an article for Hogan's Alley #3. To Drake, Alex Raymond was a striking figure; matinee-idol handsome with a pencil-thin mustache, virile, hugely talented and admired among his peers. Alex Raymond wanted to test drive Drake's new 1956 Corvette convertible, which boasted 450 horsepower, and a four-second acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour. On that day, September 6th, 1956, a steady rain was falling, and the top was up on the Corvette. At first, Drake took the wheel, traveling around Westport while Raymond admired the automobile. "Finally, we were on a road over by the highway, and he said, 'Can I drive?' and I said, 'Sure.' " Raymond began driving down South Morningside Drive to Clapboard Road, where Raymond began driving as if he were on his favorite race course.

    As he sped down the steeply graded Clapboard, he failed to see a stop sign that was hidden by overgrown weeds. Racing through the intersection, Raymond and Drake were suddenly in a free fall. Clapboard Road dropped off precipitously after the stop sign, and the velocity of the car launched it into midair. "By not stopping, we shot out about sixty feet into the air," Drake said. "They calculated where the wheels hit the road, and it was about sixty feet. The last thing I remember, we were coming right at these trees. There was a pencil on the dashboard, and it was floating in the air. That's the last thing I remember before we hit." Raymond was killed but Drake was thrown clear, and survived the crash. While he was recovering, a doctor told him that this had been the fourth time in the past month Raymond had been hospitalized due to injuries sustained in auto accidents. "He had been trying to kill himself," Drake said.

    The flawless "painterly" drybrush technique used in this drawing shows the 1930s influence of illustrator Matt Clark on Raymond. Many Raymond aficionados consider 1935-36 to be the artistic peak of Alex Raymond's career, and after marveling at this masterful drawing, it would be hard to refute that opinion.




    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Framed (view shipping information)

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2004
    29th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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