Thursday, October 18, 2007
If memory serves, Sheena, created by Will Eisner, was the first of the female Tarzan-types to star in comic books. Sheena was also a young guy's dream girl. Especially if the guy liked girls who could protect him from hostile natives, bad white hunters or wild animals, and could kick some major butt in the process.
There's a genre for this sort of fiction featuring the dominant, strong female. Sheena took care of her "mate," Bob (Bob?!) pretty well, keeping him involved in the action, doing the heavy lifting, but letting him know that when they went to the bushes, or wherever it was they co-habited, she was the one on top.
Fiction House, publisher of Jumbo Comics, was aimed at the young male audience. I've never been able to remember the plot of a Fiction House story, because they didn't really need plots. The stories were just excuses to string together lots of pin-up art. While some of the subsidiary characters in this story, from Jumbo Comics #42, August, 1942, aren't well drawn (the chimpanzee is ridiculous, and some of drawings of the "natives" look rushed), Sheena is drawn in loving detail.
Hey, soldiers were fighting Over There, but when--and if--they got to the PX, there was always the latest Jumbo Comics, with pictures of Sheena to make them remember why they were fighting. In this story the Nazis have gotten some natives to work for them. You can see they're working for the Nazis because they carry a spear with a big swastika.