Sunday, March 27, 2011

Number 919

King Solomon's Mines

I read H. Rider Haggard's novel, King Solomon's Mines, a year ago. For a 125-year-old novel it holds up well. I’m half that age and not holding up half as well as the book.

Avon did a very good adaptation as a one-shot comic in 1951, drawn by Lee J. Ames, an artist who went from comics into much acclaim as an artist and author. He did the Draw 50 . . . series of how-to art books for young people. According to the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide the Avon version was a movie comic, but that’s never stated on the comic. The 1950 movie, with Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger, changes the story into a woman looking for her missing husband rather than a man searching for his missing brother. The Avon version sticks close to Haggard’s novel, without the Hollywood treatment.

Classics Illustrated did their own version of King Solomon’s Mines in 1952, illustrated by Henry C. Kiefer.

Readers familiar with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic series will recognize the character, Allen Quatermain.



Cool post, Pappy!
Lee J. Ames, huh? I can't believe I never heard of him, but I like what I see...that cover is a pip, boyoboyee! The interior art is great too, but not as dynamic as the cover, lotsa talking heads and walking , but he has a slick style...looks like if Alex Raymond and Bob Powell and Dave Cockrum all had a baby = Lee Ames.
Thanks for posting this.

"Lucky we wore these shirts of mail!"
"Yeah, but these underpants of mail, not so lucky! I'm pretty much chafed raw!"

Pappy said...

Something (thankfully) missing from this comic book adaptation is the slaughter of animals. Giraffes, elephants...the great white hunters are very efficient, which helps them in their encounter with the hostile tribe, but god help the poor beasties.

It was a different era and there were plenty of wild animals to go around, all there for the killing and trophies. Or so people thought.