Ray Moore (comics)
Raymond S. Moore|
Montgomery City, Missouri
Raymond S. Moore (1905 - January 13, 1984), better known as Ray Moore, was the co-creator, together with Lee Falk, and first artist on what would grow to become the world's most popular adventure comic strip, The Phantom, which started in 1936. Moore had previously worked as Phil Davis' assistant on the Lee Falk-created Mandrake the Magician comic strip, which was why he was thought to be a suitable choice to draw Falk's new creation.
Life and career
Little is known about Ray's personal life, but he was born in Montgomery City, Missouri, in 1905, and he lived most of his life in Missouri until his death in 1984, together with his wife, Claire Moore. He was the son of a jeweler & clock maker, and originally intended to become an engineer (at the request of his father), before he realised that he could live off his job as an artist.
Moore started drawing The Phantom in 1936, after creator Falk realised he would not have the time to do the artwork in the strip himself. He had previously worked as an assistant on Falk's other strip, Mandrake the Magician. Moore's initial artwork on The Phantom was influenced by the work of Alex Raymond.
Ray Moore had a moody and mysterious drawing style, with a style of shadowing which suited the mysterious Phantom character. However, he slightly changed his style later on, focusing less on the dark atmosphere he had become known for, in advantage of a more realistic style, with more details and a less moody style of drawing.
Lee Falk always claimed that Moore was the best artist on the Phantom, because of his talent for drawing beautiful looking girls. It was this talent that led Falk to creating many crime corporations only consisting of women, like the infamous Sky Band.
Moore is known by fans to be as mysterious as the Phantom character he co-created. Prior to 2011, only two photos of him were known to exist, both sideways. His face was therefore quite unknown to the world. And if he on a rare occasion did an interview, he seldom mentioned his private life. In July 2011, in appreciation for Phantom Fans worldwide and in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Phantom Comic Strip, his great niece Gina Moore Reiners made public a series of Moore Family photographs ranging from Ray Moore's childhood to adulthood.
Ray Moore died in 1984 of natural causes. He was survived by his wife, Claire, who died in 2005; Mary Adelia Moore (now deceased); his younger brother, David Yerly Moore Jr.; his nephew, John Alt Moore; and his great nieces, Maria Moore Zeig and Gina Moore Reiners. 13 acres (53,000 m2) of woodland which Claire and Ray owned in Des Peres, Missouri was donated to the Missouri Department of Conservation and named "Phantom Forest" after his comic strip hero.
Moore would sometimes use his wife Claire as a model when drawing the Phantom's girlfriend, Diana Palmer.
The idea of the Phantom's pet wolf Devil is believed to have come from Ray Moore's lifelong pleasure of drawing wolves and his love of dogs.
List of the daily strip stories drawn by Ray Moore
- 1 The Singh Brotherhood
- 2 The Sky Band
- 3 The Diamond Hunters
- 4 Little Tommy
- 5 The Prisoner of the Himalayas
- 6 Adventure in Algiers
- 7 The Shark's Nest
- 8 Fishers of Pearls
- 9 The Slave Traders
- 10 The Mysterious Girl
- 11 The Golden Circle
- 12 The Seahorse
- 13 The Game of Alvar
- 14 Diana Aviatrix
- 15 The Phantom's Treasure
- 16 The Phantom Goes to War
All of these stories have been reprinted, in Australia by Frew, and in the United States by Pacific Comics Club or Comics Revue magazine.
List of Sunday strip stories drawn by Ray Moore
- 1 The League of Lost Men
- 2 The Precious Cargo of Colonel Winn
- 3 The Fire Goddess
- 4 The Beachcomber
- 5 The Saboteurs
- 6 The Return of the Sky Band
- 7 The Impostor
- 8 Castle in the Clouds
- 14 Queen Pera The Perfect
- 15 King of Beasts
- 16 The Scarlet Sorceress (With Wilson McCoy)
- 17 The Twelve Tasks (With Wilson McCoy
- 20 The Phantom Trophy
- 21 The Haunted Castle (With Wilson McCoy)
- Obituary from New York Times, Jan. 17, 1984
- "By the middle 1930s, the editors at King Features had settled on their favourite style for adventure strips, the dry brush illustrative approach Alex Raymond was using on the daily "Secret Agent X-9" and the Sunday "Flash Gordon/Jungle Jim" page. Phil Davis was using a variation on Mandrake and Charles Flanders was persuaded to become an exponent when he took over X-9 and King of the Royal Mounted. It was natural therefore that Ray Moore would draw "the Phantom" in his best approximation of the Raymond look preferred by the syndicate." Ron Goulart, "Introduction: Enter the Ghost Who Walks" in The Phantom : the complete newspaper dailies. Volume 1, 1936-1937. New Castle : Hermes Press, 2014.ISBN 161345063X (p.13)