Thursday, June 21, 2012


Jungle Comics #146 [Fiction House; February 1952] hit newsstands in
my birth month of December 1951.  The cover feature was Ka'a'nga,
who you’ll find in the background of the cover.  Up front in more
ways than one is his aviatrix girlfriend Ann Mason.  Unfortunately,
the Grand Comics Database hasn’t yet identified the artist who drew
this gorgeous cover.

Ka'a'nga, who also had his own title, was the headliner in Jumbo.
He was basically a Tarzan clone: parents killed by wild beasts in
the jungle and then raised by a she-ape.  Maurice Whitman drew the
10-page “Orphans Of The Congo,” but the writer is unknown. 

Other features:

Wambi was the second most successful feature in Jungle Comics and
also had his own title for a while.  The jungle boy wore a turban
and breechcloth, which made him look as if he lived in the Indian
jungle, though everything else in his adventures looked like they
were from the African jungles.  His four-page story in this issue
was drawn by Henry Kiefer, who draw most of his stories.  The GCD
hasn’t identified the writer.

Capt. Terry Thunder starred in “The Big Ghost of Simbah” (5 pages),
drawn by Robert Webb.  The Captain was an explorer.

Camilla was the issue’s big finish.  She was the queen of some lost
empire in the African jungle.  Her seven-page adventure was drawn
by Ralph Mayo.

More vintage comic-book covers to come.


More Free Comic Book Day reviews...

DC Nation FCBD Sampler/Superman Family Adventures Flipbook #1 aims
at a younger demographic than the publisher’s ultra-sexual, ultra-
violent “New 52" super-hero comics.  If you want to see the Batman
boning Catwoman or Starfire doing everyone, you shouldn’t expect to
get that for free.

The Green Lantern story that leads off the DC Nation part of this
giveaway is fun if not outstanding.  I got a kick out of seeing an
obscure villain like Myrwhydden in the story by Art Baltazar and
Franco with art by Darid Brizuela. That was followed by a five-page
excerpt from an issue of Young Justice.  The story and the excerpt
give a fair representation of the comic books they promote, which
is, of course, what a good FCBD issue should do.

It’s hard for me to judge the Superman Family Adventures section of
the flipbook.  The Art Baltazar story (with Franco) and art score
high for charm and cuteness, but I have no way of knowing if young
kids go for this stuff.  My 23-year-old son favors manga and non-
super-hero graphic novels and my 20-year-old daughter hasn’t read
a comic book since the early issues of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and
she found those unsatisfying within a couple issues.  Not to rush
anyone, but, before I can consider Superman Family Adventures more
fully, I’m gonna need some grandchildren.


There’s not enough actual story content in the Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens
Free Comic Book Day Special Preview
to sell me on checking out the
Liquid Comics graphic novel.  I can say the art is most impressive.
If I had to predict the reaction to this giveaway, it would be to
opine that if you love dinosaurs (I do) or Grant Morrison (hit and
mostly miss with me), you’ll at least consider buying this graphic
novel.  It’s a good FCBD effort.


Image 20 is one of the strongest of this year’s Free Comic Book Day
giveaways.  It features four-page snippets from six of its titles
and full-page ads for another four.  The snippets are from G-Man by
Chris Giarrusso, Guarding the Globe by Phil Hester and Todd Nauck,
Crime and Terror by Steve Niles and Scott Morse, Revival by Tim
Seeley and Mike Norton, It-Girl and the Atomics by Jamie S. Rich
and a busy Mike Norton, and Near Death by Jay Faerber and Simone
Guglielmini.  They all look good, so good that, if I could afford
to buy comic books, I’d check them all.  The same for three of the
four comics in the full-page ads.  If you seen the ads, I bet you
can guess which one doesn’t interest me. 

Image Comics is publishing a lot of intriguing titles.  DC “New 52"
is mostly awful.  Marvel’s unending crossover storylines as well as
its over-reliance on a small group of writers and multiple titles
for virtually every major star in its roster have made its comics
more hit-and-miss than ever.  In that mythical world where I have
the money to buy comic books - the one in which I’m working a lot
more steadily and both my kids are finished with college - I think
I’d be buying as many and likely more Image titles than either DC
or Marvel.  In short, Image did a great job on their FCBD giveaway
and I hope it pays off for the company.


The Hypernaturals Free Comic Book Day Edition [Boom! Studios] seems
to be a cosmic take on super-heroes from the prolific writing team
of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.  I’m not entirely sold on this one,
but the writing is good, the art by Brad Walker and Tom Derenick is
first-rate, and the concept intrigues me.  This may be one of those
series I need to read several issues at a time.  As FCBD issues go,
it was a decent effort.


From Capstone comes The Rockhead & Zinc Alloy 2-For-None giveaway,
a very funny and kid-friendly preview of two graphic novels.  The
Incredible Rockhead is by Scott Nickel with art by C.S. Jennings.
Zinc Alloy: the Invincible Boy-Bot is by Donald Lemke with art by
Douglas Holgate. These “geeks in disguise” deliver both action and
humor.  I think kids will love them as much as this old coot did.
A fine FCBD book.


The late Don Thompson, my friend and mentor, used to have a handy
phrase for use in reviewing comics he didn’t care for personally:
“If you like this sort of thing, you’ll like this.”  I’m reminded
of that every time I look at an issue of Archie Comics’ Mega Man or
Sonic the Hedgehog.  I can’t get into comic books based on either
role-playing or video games.

That said, the Free Comic Book Day edition of Mega Man reprints the
first issue of the Archie title and is very kid-friendly.  If you
like the video game, I believe you’ll like it and, if you like the
video game and have never seen the comic before, I think you will
want to read more Mega Man comics.  Which makes it, as I reckon it,
a successful FCBD giveaway.

The Free Comic Book Day reviews conclude tomorrow.


In other matters...

My thanks to those who ordered items from my Vast Accumulation of
Stuff sales.  It was my best week ever for these online sales and
has definitely encouraged me to continue them.  There are still a
great many cool things for sale here and here.  Please take a few
moments to look over the lists.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2012 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. You're right, Tony, that Jungle Comics cover is beautiful. Thanks for posting a pic of it.