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Friday, April 29, 2016

Number 1886: Turok goes 'round 'n' 'round

The original Turok comics had a very simple premise. Turok and Andar, two pre-Columbian Native Americans, wander into a lost valley. They become lost within the lost valley and can’t find their way out. They share what seems like a huge place with a variety of prehistoric men, and creatures extinct in the outside world. This particular story, from Turok Son of Stone #4 (1956), fits that storyline. Turok and Andar, and their caveman pal, Lanok, look for Lanok’s home, and get into tussles with dinosaurs. The second story in the issue (not shown here), continues from this story, but is more of the same. That is not to say that Turok Son of Stone is not entertaining within its self-contained parameters, but a reader knows what he is going to get.

The story is credited by the Grand Comics Database to Gaylord Dubois for the script, and Bob Correa and John Celardo for the artwork.


















I have mentioned before I never read any of the comic book revivals of Turok, but I did come across a 2008 animated movie of Turok. The full movie is on YouTube, no less. (As I write this, anyway. If you are reading this post later and encounter a black screen, it is YouTube’s fault, not mine.) The storyline of the original comics is too simple for modern tastes, so this is gorier and has a revisionist story bringing the heroes into the lost valley. I think the look of the characters in animation is uninspiring, but I'm not the target audience for the film.

I give praise to the people who made the film for using Native American actors for the voices, including Adam Beach, Adam Gifford, Irene Bedard, Michael Horse, and Russell Means, among others.



9 comments:

libraryguy said...

Very nice, thanks. You have to give the writers kudos for an original plot at least. I remember reading these way back in the day as a kid. Part of me thought the art was awful and the rest of me enjoyed the escapism and adventure every boy 8-14 feels when reading comics like this.

Alicia American said...

OMG Pappy New Mexico must B pritty OLD if it still has DINOSORES runnering around yo OMG!!!! I like TOTELLY wanna go 2 New Mexico on my next vacay yo OMG!!!!!!!!! #XSIGHTED

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

"That is not to say that Turok Son of Stone is not entertaining within its self-contained parameters, but a reader knows what he is going to get. "

Well, it is a simple plot, but believe me, to watch Turok and Andar going round and round, trying desperately to escape from the Lost Valley (and ultimately, to survive) was more than enough for me in the early Seventies.
We tend to forget, maybe, that those comics were read by kids.

To five-years-old me in 1972, a Valley where I could meet and fight all kind of monsters, cavemen and un-realistic dinosaurs was the best approximation to happiness, and while reading Turok I sometimes felt like I WAS there.

Actually, I learned to read with Turok, Tarzan, Thor, etc.
Turok helped me become what I am now (that is to say, an un-realistic dinosaur).
Those were simpler times. I guess now kids have other ways to feed their fantasies and imagination.

By the way, do little kids still read comics? I mean: are comics still a popular form of entertainment?
I asked my niece: she told me that none of her friends is a comic reader, nor is she. She's deeply into a book series called "Geronimo Stilton" (the adventures of a mouse reporter or something), which I think is awful.

Almost as bad as the Revamp of Turok in the nineties.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Oh, the movie you posted looks like a fragment of the "Heavy Metal" film (one of the humorless ones)!
Nice, in a way, but definitely not "my" Turok. Modern taste or not.

Pappy said...

J D, including the movie shows that Turok has an enduring appeal, even if the producers decided it needed to have some blood 'n' guts.

Of my two granddaughters, both readers, the younger is the one interested in comics. Mostly graphic novels, comic books in a fancier format, but still comic books. I have been getting together some used, age-appropriate comic books for their visit this summer. So I know at least one child who likes comics, but generally speaking I'd say that there is too much competition for a child's attention with television, Internet, etc. for comics to ever get the attention they got from kids even a generation ago.

The older girl is a voracious reader of books like the Harry Potter series. I have no complaints about her preferring novels; I am happy they both love to read.

Pappy said...

libraryguy, you have described how I felt in the fifties reading Turok and Tarzan and other comic books taking place in exotic places with exotic animals. Thanks for the note.

Pappy said...

Alicia, when I want to see a dinosaur I look in my mirror.

New Mexico is a great place; beautiful. I recommend it to anyone.

7f7f3e2a-4856-11e4-900a-bb8e57f8828f said...

Turok -a favorite of mine when I was a kid. Close to how much I liked Carl Barks' duck comics. Certainly different than the duck comics. So thank you once again; you have charmed me with this.

Pappy said...

7f7, the difference is when Barks' ducks went to Shangri-La or Plain Awful or anywhere else on the globe, they were able to get out again. Not so for poor Turok and Andar.

Thanks for the note. Always nice to hear from you.