Sunday, April 15, 2012

Discuss: Tarzan of the Apes


13 comments:

Rip Jagger said...

One of my very first comics and my first Tarzan comic for sure was the Russ Manning rendition of the classic origin story from Gold Key. It's a one-issue wonder of compression, and of course beautiful. Not Ron Ely exactly who I watched every week on TV, but darn nice.

Soon thereafter DC got hold of the property and Joe Kubert rocked my understanding of the Apeman (I'd read a novel or two by then) with his rugged and savage take.

Marvel's version was less successful but getting John Buscema to draw early issues was an outstanding idea.

Since Dark Horse got hold of him, Tarzan has been pretty interesting, but very uneven.

Tom Yeates did some of his best work ever on the character, for Malibu I think first, then later for Dark Horse. He is right now doing another story in Dark Horse Presents, but I'll wait to get that one when it's collected.

Given that this is the "Golden Age" of comic strip reprints, when are we getting Hal Foster's original version in a premium edition? It's well past time for that.

Rip Off

dbutler16 said...

I was never into the films, and I don't own a single Tarzan comic, but I have to say, "Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle" from the late 70's was my FAVORITE cartoon! Oh, how I used to look forward to that on Saturday mornings. Very well done, and more faithful to the books than most of the movies. I even recently bought it on DVD.

Anonymous said...

Tarzan was one of the first comic books I remember getting. It was a Gold Key with Tarzan parachuting to earth dodging spears. I was familiar with him through the reruns of the movies of the 40's with Weissmuller and Lex Barker (my dad loved those), so the Gold Keys were fun. However, when DC started their series, with Joe Kubert's wonderful art, I was hooked. I think I got nearly every issue. The Marvel edition was okay, but to me it couldn't hold a candle to Kubert's take. I've seen some of the Malibu and Dark Horse comics, but see above. Kubert's version is seared, SEARED, into my brain. :)

Darpy

Edo Bosnar said...

For me, the Marvel series, with art first by John and then Sal Buscema, is the definitive comic book version of Tarzan.
The comics got me interested in the books, and I initially devoured the first dozen or, until I realized Burroughs was pretty flagrantly recycling his stories - I think I through in the towel after "Tarzan Triumphant."
dbutler - if you're talking about the Filmation cartoon, I loved that as well.

dbutler16 said...

Edo Bosnar, yes it is the Filmation cartoon I was referring to. Great stuff!

Garett said...

Kubert's version is probably my favorite for art and story. I have a book of Hal Foster's Tarzan from 1933-35 that's very enjoyable.

Burne Hogarth from the '40s...I like seeing all the different interpretations of Tarzan. I always like the character, but can't think of stories that have made an impression--that's the weak point for me. St. John, Jusko, Buscema, Frazetta, Adams...so many artistic versions.

I watched the early movies and like
Maureen O'Sullivan as Jane. I mentioned earlier the wonderful swimming scene that's on youtube. Something fresh and natural about it, and I guess that's the appeal of Tarzan too.

Dougie said...

My first Tarzan was Ron Ely. My first comic however was the first part of Gold Key's adaptation of Tarzan the Terrible. I was fascinated (and a little repelled) by the tailed men of Pal-Ul-Don. As a kid, I was taken to the cinema to see a movie starring Mike Henry's very Connery-esque Tarzan.

In the Bronze Age, the b/w movies were shown on tv here a few times but I haven't seen the likes of "Tarzan's New York Adventure" for at least thirty years.

The Filmation cartoon was one of my favourites in the mid-70s. It seemed more kinetic than earlier animation work.

I've never read any of the Marvel series; I don't recall it being on sale here. I tried to read a paperback edition of Tarzan and the Ant men as a teen but found it tiresome and frustrating.

Dougie said...

Forgot to add I own a copy of the First DC issue of Korak with a Len Wein story set in Opar and a Carson of Venus strip. Beautiful stuff.

Anonymous said...

My first movie Tarzan was probably Jock Mahoney, but I was too young at the time for it to have left a lasting impression on me. So the first filmed version I clearly remember was the Ron Ely TV series. The older movies (Weissmuller, Lex Barker, Gordon Scott) became a staple of local Saturday morning TV in the late 1960's-early '70's. My first comic was #167, the second half of Gold Key's adaptation of "Tarzan the Terrible" (with the tailed people of Pal-Ul-Don). #178 was the first comic I ever bought after the price increase from twelve to fifteen cents. It reprinted the origin story from #155. I had the first DC issue, with Kubert art in the lead feature. The back-up strip was John Carter of Mars. For me, the Gold Key series with Manning artwork is the "real" Tarzan. In fact, Gold Key's Tarzan and Korak may have been the only titles I collected (or, at least, bought consistently) in the 1960's.

joe bloke said...

I've never liked Tarzan, in any medium other than comics, I found the books largely unreadable, the films and tv bore me rigid. but there are some great Tarzan comics. there was the Joe Kubert DC Limited Collector's Edition, and the John Buscema stuff, and, of course, Gil kane's run on the Sundays. my favourite would be the lovely paperback Burne Hogarth did.

humanbelly said...

It's-All-Connected Dept.

@Rip-- Tom Yeates has just taken over the art reins on PRINCE VALIANT from Gary Gianni, who took over from John Cullen Murphy, who had gently and gradually taken the strip over from. . . creator Hal Foster!

Hal Foster's Tarzan work (REVERED in the classic comic strip world) pre-dated Valiant. Not surprising that Yeates' work on that character might be what won him consideration for this high-prestige assignment. Out of nowhere, I've become a fan of it myself-- wishing that the new collected editions could be produced four times faster-!

HB

Anonymous said...

I especially liked his pet Zabu and his girl friend Shanna.
--Matt alias Anonymous

humanbelly said...

@ Matt alias anonymous:

No, no, no-- that's not. . . you've confused him with. . .
see, one's a direct rip-off of the classic. . .

Never mind. Just, never mind. . .

HB

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