Friday, April 06, 2012

Number 1135: The Panther Woman

This story, credited by the Grand Comics Database to Ruben Moreira, and beautifully illustrated, is lacking something: a motive. It isn't told why the exotic beauty, Gora, dresses in a panther skin, and with her pet panthers, terrorizes a tea plantation. In the real world of 1948, when this was published in the giveaway comic, Buster Brown Comic Book #12, the locals in that area were having a revolution, kicking out those who had been colonizing them.

Ruben Moreira took over the Tarzan Sunday strips from Burne Hogarth in 1945, until Hogarth returned to the strip in '47. Moreira was a comic book journeyman, whose work in DC Comics was usually signed. My introduction to him was the "Roy Raymond, TV Detective" stories in Detective Comics. Moreira, who came from Puerto Rico as a child, returned in 1958, and his comic book career came to an end in 1962. He died in 1984 of cancer at age 61.


Kirk said...

Too bad the story gives Gloria no motivation for her actions. A "black panther" trying to stir up social unrest? The story could have been considered a good twenty years ahead of it its time.

Pappy said...

Kirk, yes, exactly 20 years!

Gumba G Gadwa said...

Again, I hate to say this, but this story reads just like the ghost rider story. While Gora had no motivation, our white hunter certain had one!

"Capture her alive!" Why? You know why! In 1948, white guys in the jungle take what they like. Mauled your friend? Tried to kill you? Forget it, she's hot and she'll be mine. She's going to be "civilized" by his rugged hunting good looks :)

You can draw it in a comic, but you can't get away from the men's magazines origin of a lot of these stories!

BTW, if I get attacked by two panthers and a hot woman in a panther suit, I think I'll notice. How that guy get to be head of a plantation? If somebody puts a lampshade on their head does he think they became a piece of furniture?

Incredible art. Especially Gora, who he made both beautiful but haughty.

Pappy said...

Gumba, the guy got to be head of the plantation probably the same way other colonists got to be head of anything...they subjugated the natives and took over.

I do like your crack about the lampshade and furniture. I'm going to remember that one. It sounds good in an election year. When someone tells me his candidate will make a good President/senator/congressman/dog catcher, I can tell him, "Oh yeah? What makes you think he's qualified? If he put a lampshade on his head would he be qualified to be a piece of furniture?" Hmmm, well, it needs work on my part, but thanks for providing me with such a bit of withering sarcasm, anyway.

Alberto said...

Hello Pappy.

Great blog!!!

The Panther Woman story is certainly by Moreira, but I'm pretty sure that the splash page is by Dan Barry (possibly aided by his brother Sy). The Barrys also did art for Buster Brown Comics, so they might have started this one and then turned it over to Moreira for some reason.


Pappy said...

Alberto, are you Alberto Beccatini? I have seen the name several times in the Grand Comics Database, identifying artists and writers. I much appreciate you pointing out the artists who worked on this strip. I like to get things right, and I am grateful for any help.

Alberto said...

Hi Pappy.

Yes, this is Alberto Becattini from Florence, Italy. I've been following your great blog for quite a while and I finally decided to comment on this post, as it features two of my all-time favorite artists - - Dan Barry and Rubén Moreira.

Thanks a lot for your posts. Each one is a joy for my nearsighted eyes.


Pappy said...

Alberto, if you notice, my scans get a little bigger every's because my eyes get weaker. You're not the only one who is nearsighted.

One of my favorite series is Dell Four Color comics, and many times I have seen your name in the Grand Comics Database identifying artists and writers from those comics. I am happy to have you as a reader, and any time you need to correct me if I'm wrong in identifying an artist please do. One of the advantages of having a blog, unlike being in print, is being able to go back and edit. As much as is humanly possible I want to give the right people credit for what they have done in comic books.

Thanks again.