Sunday, March 27, 2011
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.