Sunday, March 17, 2013

Number 1333: Tarzan, La, and the cavemen

I’ve bored you mentioned before that the Tarzan comics (and novels, also, as I recall from reading them nearly 50 years ago) were about a never-ending string of lost cities, civilizations, prehistoric beasts and people, all within the African continent. Lost world stories were very popular when Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing his novels, but even in ERB’s lifetime the airplane and exploration had made such lost world stories improbable and impossible. It didn’t stop Tarzan comic book writer, Gaylord DuBois, from writing about them for years. Jesse Marsh, who also toiled for years in the comic book jungle, did the artwork on “The Cave Men,” from Tarzan #15 (1950).

La appears, also. DuBois and Marsh toned down La. Despite being the object of the cavemen's amorous desires, she and Tarzan keep a respectable difference, with no hint of any sexual tension. As I also remember, being a young boy sweating over reading The Return of Tarzan and Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, La was quite an exotic creature, hot for Tarzan’s muscular body. Tarzan, being a Victorian gentleman in a loincloth, didn’t fall for La’s charms because he was married to Jane Porter.

In the above portrait of La, drawn in the seventies by Joe Kubert, La is more oo-la-La, as she should be. The Dell Comics version of La has the same name, but not the same sex appeal.


darkmark said...

Thanks, but the champ of La versions in sex appeal has to be the Russ Manning rendition, both for Gold Key and in the later newspaper strips. She could have given the Fiction House babes a run for their money!

Pappy said...

Darkmark, I don't dispute your opinion, but I always thought the guys in Russ Manning's comics were almost as pretty as the girls.