Monday, March 28, 2016

Jungles and Gangsters

Tarzan of the Apes: adapted by Robert Hodes from the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs; illustrated by Burne Hogarth; introduction by Maurice Horn (1972): Burne Hogarth took over the syndicated Tarzan strip when Canadian-born Hal Foster left in 1937 to create Prince Valiant. For roughly ten years, Hogarth honed his comics skills on the strip before leaving to do other work. This volume, illustrated by Hogarth in the late 1960's, is an unusually early American graphic novel. 

It's now available, together with its sequel, from Dark Horse. This volume is the 1972 version. It's an adaptation of roughly the first third of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel that introduced Tarzan to the world. The illustrations are beautiful, the African settings lush, the panel composition charged with energy. Well-worth picking up from Dark Horse for any Tarzan fans, or fans of human anatomy in motion. Highly recommended.

In the Days of the Mob: written and illustrated by Jack Kirby with Mike Royer, Vince Colletta, Frank Giacoia, John Costanza, Steve Sherman, and Mark Evanier; introduction by John Morrow (1971/Collected 2013): Fun collection of stories written and drawn by the great Jack Kirby for an adult-oriented, magazine-sized crime comic entitled In the Days of the Mob that released but one issue in 1971.

The introduction details DC's complete incompetence at creating a B&W comics line. And this Comics Journal review details the production problems that persist in this volume. Nonetheless, it's a fascinating and enjoyable volume of stories that aren't much like any other Kirby stories. Recommended.

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