Monday, February 04, 2013

Number 1310: Cleopatra turns on her headlights...and in turn, turns on Julius Caesar!

It's been only a short time since I showed you the most infamous headlights cover of Phantom Lady #17, and here I am again, to blind you with headlights set on high beam.

This Stuart Taylor tale from Jumbo Comics #41 (1942) is sexually suggestive, especially in its depiction of Cleopatra. Yet beyond its fictional framing, it’s essentially the story told in history books: Cleopatra's seduction of Julius Caesar, and after Caesar's death, Marc Antony. But told Fiction House-style makes history so much more entertaining.

Lee J. Ames is credited with penciling and inking. It’s been a while since I showed anything by Ames. He was a journeyman comic book artist who went into book illustration, and then into instruction books with titles like Draw 50 Animals, Draw 50 Famous Faces, etc., which taught many kids they could draw by taking the steps Ames showed them. The last thing I showed by Ames in this blog is the 1951 Avon adaptation of King Solomon’s Mines in Pappy's #919.


Brian Barnes said...

Hopefully most people had better history books than yours :) There's a lot wrong with that one, especially with Mark Antony's death (he killed himself, but it didn't take -- how embarrassing! -- and ended up dying in Cleopatra's arms.)

Also, she had a much bigger nose!

There, I'm done nit-picking for today.

Pappy said...

Brian, you can pick your nits, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your nits' nose.

Something like that, anyway.

Daniel [] said...

Well, there are greater issues that the specifics of Anthony's suicide or the size of a nose.

Examples: Cleopatra wasn't facing much if any popular rebellion;* her problems were in dealing with Rome and with rival claimants to the throne.† And there were almost 20 years between when Cleopatra met Gaius Julius Cæsar and when she died.

*Unlike her predecessors amongst the Ptolemies, she postured not as a Greek conqueror, refusing even to speak Egyptian, but as a reïncarnation of Isis, happy to use the national language. And her liaisons with Cæsar and with Anthony were recognized as helping to preserve a degree of Egyptian autonomy.

†The Ptolemies tended to be killed by connivance of other Ptolemies. Cleopatra herself had her sister and perhaps one of her brothers killed.