Article #18








Well, what do you know, it’s been just over a year since I started this site, and somehow it’s still up and going.  It is what it is, a hobby site and somewhere I can occasionally post an item that catches my eye, ranging from the juvenile to the mature (maturely juvenile, that is).  But this entry has a slightly more serious bend to it.  Folks who collect comics, particularly old comics, know that they are dealing with nostalgia, and with nostalgia one must always be aware that the culture was very different from then and now.  That’s all part of the charm of collecting old comics, to look at how many things have changed through the ages, and how many things, for better or worse, have remained the same.


Keeping this in mind, it’s interesting to read jungle themed comics from the 1950s and earlier.  Bizarre savages, strange threats, scantily clad dames and dozens of Tarzan clones abound.  The stories seem weird, yet quaint nowadays, a throwback.  They’ve lost the ability to thrill, but not the ability to provide WTF moments, as the following provides.  An interesting tale that features one of the more well known heroes of the era from FOX, Jo-Jo, Congo King.  Behold the Feathered Serpent!!!



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Nope, you aren’t seeing double, there really are two copies of the same splash panel above.  There actually is a reason for it.  Look closely and see if you can spot any differences between the two of them.  Take your time, I’ll wait…


Okay, now then, tell me which of the above is the reprint, the left or the right.  One was taken from Terrors of the Jungle #18 from 1952, the other from Jungle Adventures #3 by Skywald in the early 1970s.  Keep in mind that this is the Congo King, so the stories are situated in Africa, an area of the world where scantily clad white women are in short supply.  So, take your pick, right or left, don’t worry, I’ll wait…


Have you picked yet?  Alright, well, the answer is a simple one.  The reprint is on the left, and the original on the right.  Actually, they’re both reprints as 1950s Terrors only had reprint material, but being only a few years removed from the original issue, it’s pretty faithful to the original copy material.  But I digress.  The left is from the 1970s, the right from the 1950s.  And the weird thing?  In the 1950s version, an era not known for racial tolerance, the dark jungle is teeming with white skinned girls.  Get where I’m going with this?


Think about this for a moment, the 1950s exuded racial separation, yet in these jungle tales, the only women to be found are Caucasian, while the only males, besides the hero, are dark skinned.  In essence, what we have is some of the earliest comic material with interracial coupling!  Quite likely by accident, given the era we’re talking about, making it all the more interesting a find. 


And in the 1970s this was reversed, all the females are now dark skinned.  Why?  It costs money to change anything in reprint material, so why did Skywald bother?  It is true that the change is more realistic (African natives are not naturally pale skinned), but I also wonder if they feared what kind of feedback the material would have garnered if published in its original form?  Again we must remember the 1950s are a different time from the 1970s.  In the 1950s, a smug superiority would have likely greeted such material as a ‘we are better than them’ attitude dominated.  In the 1970s, turmoil, plain and simple.  And now, the same material would get a shrug and “so what?”, or so I’d like to think.  And that, my friends, is progress in 3 easy steps J


Below is the rest of the story – with my own little comments thrown in… enjoy!


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You know what; I can’t picture any self respecting jungle man using Jo-Jo as a name.  Couldn’t they come up with something – anything remotely smarter?  And dang it all, he looks EXACTLY like Tarzan too!


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Okay, this can’t be good…


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Man, that’s a hungry snake.


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Forget hunters and deforestation, Jo-Jo is the true cause of wildlife extinction!  He’s already killed a giant panther and an ape and we’re only up to page 5!  When are the animals going to get some payback?


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Hah!  Take that you eco-terrorist!!!


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Now he’s gone and killed a snake too!  The bastard!!!


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Man, say what you will, but the artist certainly didn’t waste any panels with Tanee.  It’s blatant chest shot or nothing!  Is it any wonder these books were so popular back then?  Of course, this is about as much as most superwomen wear nowadays…


It’s the last page folks, be ready for the most, uhm, suggestive image of all!


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Well, there you have it.  Not only do you get Tanee’s rack about to be stung – but Jo-Jo giving Fucha a spanking he’ll never forget in the center panel, with Fucha obligingly bent over!  Guess Jo-Jo likes to play it both ways.


And for good measure they burn the villain alive.  Mmm, barbecue.


That’s it folks.  Till next time!


Image within the Image Moment


A new feature where we’ll be taking a single image or panel and scratch our heads over it.  Mr. Wertham stated that boys knew how to look for the pictures inside the pictures.  Here’s an example of what he meant from Action Comics #346:




That’s got to be the most anatomically correct coat I’ve ever seen.  Plus, I think the girl’s stoned…