Monday, November 21, 2011

Number 1056

Jungle déjà vu

A standard plot of a Tarzan comic book, written by Gaylord Dubois and drawn by Jesse Marsh, had Tarzan involved in a rescue, a prehistoric valley, and/or some lost civilization. Lost world stories were very popular, and Tarzan stories often used that theme.

This story from Tarzan #19, 1951, fits into a couple of the above categories. It feels like we've read it before, but that's all right. I like lost world stories, I like dinosaurs in Tarzan stories, I like stories where he rescues beautiful girls.*

I also like to look at Jesse Marsh's art. Two late, great comic artists, Alex Toth and Russ Manning, admired Marsh greatly, even though their styles were poles apart from his. They liked his storytelling ability, and when you study Marsh’s pages he kept the action moving.

*Tarzan would not take advantage of a helpless female, no matter how attractive. He was married to Jane, after all. But while he was out adventuring Jane was home, a long ways away. It didn't matter because, like the heroes of the melodramas of a bygone time, Tarzan "had the strength of ten because his heart was pure." Unlike Timon the tricky in "Tarzan and the Thipdar," Tarzan would never dream of taking another man's woman.


Odyzeus! said...

Oh, yeah! Loves me some Jesse Marsh!

Thanks, Pap.

Mykal said...

It's easy to see why the real pros like Manning and Toth so enjoyed Marsh. I bet it was how beautifully readable his artwork is. What incredible, simple composition - so pure and near perfect. And Manning's poses seem so similar to Marsh. Toth was always complaining about modern comics - how they had absolutely no flow and led the eye absolutely nowhere. Well, Marsh is the antidote for that, for sure!

Pappy said...

Mykal, Marsh was an artist who I, as a kid, instinctively liked. It was that flow of the stories. He kept his layouts straightforward: medium shots mostly, with an occasional head shot or close-up. No tricky "camera angles," he just told the story in a very direct manner.

It helped that Gaylord Dubois's scripts were fun, and written to Marsh's strengths as an artist. They made a good team for almost 20 years on Tarzan.

Sherm said...

Gorgeous! Anytime Jesse Marsh draws giant birds, I'm IN!

Pappy said...

In the late '50s he rode a giant eagle named Argus. Very cool!