Sunday, November 13, 2011

Number 1051

Mr. Universe and the jungle that time forgot

Mister Universe ran for five issues in the early '50s, and it had different artists handling each issue. Ross Andru did some penciling and inking in number one, but number two, which I'm showing today, is the only issue done front to back by the Andru and Mike Esposito team, and the only issue with a book-length story.

"Jungle That Time Forgot" is credited to writer Harry Kantor. It's a precursor to many stories Andru and Esposito would later do for DC, featuring lost worlds and modern soldiers fighting dinos.

I took the scans from an online source, and although I've cleaned them up to the best of my ability, they still show that the issue was printed poorly with off-register colors. I've mentioned several time in this blog it's probably no surprise to anyone who has read comics for many years that early comics were the Rodney Dangerfield of the publishing world. They got no respect, printed by the millions on giant web presses by (sometimes) indifferent pressmen.


Mykal said...

Sometimes I wonder how many thousands of comic titles there are that I've never heard of. Here's another one! Thanks, Pappy!

I loved your intro about cheap printing and indifferent pressmen. I think sometimes us comic lovers forget that our beloved medium was always intended as a throwaway format. Cheap paper, quickly printed - for the kids to read for a couple of days and throw away. That's the beauty of them, I think.

Richard Bensam said...

It's a direct lift from Doc Savage, isn't it? Except with a bit more reliance on comic relief. And of course, Andru would end up pencilling Doc himself at Marvel quite a few years later.

Pappy said...

Richard, I think Doc Savage had his own antecedents, but yeah, there does seem to be a resemblance here. And speaking of Doc, what about Monk and Ham for comic relief?

Mykal, the fact that some copies of virtually every comic book, no matter that they were printed on toilet paper, still survive is testament to how much some readers loved their comics. Cheap they were, throwaways they were, but here they still are. Thanks are due those original owners who didn't throw them away. It's just a shame that really great artwork from this story was so ill treated in the printing process.

Richard Bensam said...

Sure, but if you took away all the competence and depth from Monk and made him into just a bumbling sidekick, you might end up with the "Scarcely Able" character here. And the other character, Jeff, seems to be a business manager or promoter type? So we've got one brilliant specimen of physical perfection, one well-dressed sidekick with a head for business, one apelike but lovable sidekick providing the slapstick, a lost valley forgotten by time, a hidden tribe whose superstitions are played upon and thwarted by the hero...your honor, I rest my case!

Pappy said...

Richard, remind me to hire you when I need a lawyer.