My father had collected and read collected those books during the mid-to-late 1970’s. in the early 1980’s, I found them on the shelf, dusted them off, and stared at the covers for what seemed like forever! The Beasts of Tarzan, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, Tarzan Triumphant and Tarzan and the Leopard Men, as well as the others, are remembered very, very fondly.
Those covers by artist extraordinaire, Neal Adams, leapt off the page with thrills, menace and dramatic excitement! They introduced me to pulp adventure and fueled my imagination, leading me towards a burgeoning love of the fantasy and science fiction genres.
They also cemented a common pop culture bond between father and son.
Through Tarzan, other Burroughs classics came to my attention, chiefly, the strange and fascinating worlds of Barsoom and Pellucidar and all the characters that inhabited those continents.
Today sees a childhood imagination rekindled with the intermingling of disparate characters in the pop culture world of comic books.
Of course, that series would need to have the greatest pulp title ever devised…and it does with: The Greatest Adventure #1!
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A couple of weeks ago, friend and compatriot Glenn Walker (he of @monsura and regular contributor to all things cool on this very website), came to visit my hometown city of Toronto for Biff Bam Pop!’s Editor-in-Chief, Andy Burns’ monumental birthday celebration.
It was a wonderful affair, full of frivolity, chatter and seemingly endless shot glasses of Jägermeister (many of us are still shuddering at the taste in our mouths).
At a breakfast get together the next morning, Glenn and I stated talking about our love of comic book industry-changing creator, “King” Jack Kirby (creator of so many of your favourite comic book heroes and villains), and his 1972 post-apocalyptic protagonist, Kamandi. He reminded me of the mid-eighties DC Comics series, the DC Challenge, on which today’s Wednesday Run column comic book pick is based.
And Kamandi, the beloved Last Boy On Earth: in a brand new, limited series, full of story and art and wonder and industry legends working on the creation of the industry’s all-time Legend.
Today sees the release of the hugely-anticipated The Kamandi Challenge #1!
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!
Here’s the big question: are comic book characters, specifically superheroes, fables? Are they the modern day stand in narratives for those old-time stories our grandparents read to us as wee children: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast, Tom Thumb, Hansel and Gretel and Three Billy Goats Gruff?
Well, according to Bill Willingham, the writer of the monthly Fables series from Vertigo Comics, they are.
Issue #102 of the acclaimed series marks both a new five-part storyline and a departure for the universe that is Fables. It’s the first time in over eight years that the series, which has dealt with just about everything else, has dealt with comic book superheroes.
Leave it to the exuberant character of Pinocchio to come up with the idea of putting together a super group (with costumes and all!) to go against an evil adversary – it’s like witnessing the forming of the Justice League of America! You know, minus Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
Who needs those characters when you’ve got heroes like Werewolf Man, Golden Knight and The Green Witch looking out for you?
Fables, the series, has been around for quite a long time but issue #102 seems to be a good point to jump in. Who could resist that painted “golden-age” influenced cover of Joao Ruas? Besides, if you want to catch up on the better part of a decade of storytelling, all you need to do is search high and low for the various trades and deluxe editions that are out there.
It’s an undertaking (and monetary expenditure) worthy of a fable itself, isn’t it?