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Friday, May 26, 2017

Number 2054: “Judy, Judy, Judy...”

Maybe it’s just me, but for a jungle girl, the name Judy just doesn’t have the ring of Sheena or Rulah or any of a myriad of exotic names for comic book white girls cavorting about dangerous jungles. Judy as cover girl, though, as shown in Alex (“Xela”) Schomburg’s sexy bondage cover — being bought by a pith-helmeted white man for a watch (from a presumed “cannibal” with cooking pot) — for Exciting Comics #59 (1948), was sure to catch the reader’s eye.

Couple of notes: Judy kills a lion, even calls him an evil jungle prowler for killing sweet little Angela the doe. Shucks, folk, the lion was obeying the law of the jungle, and Judy should have been inured to violent death in the local food chain by this time in her career.

Frank Frazetta gets credit for the artwork. Although his style peeks out, I’ll crawl a ways out on a jungle tree limb and say that another inker, or inkers, worked heavily over his pencils. Another clue is the misspelling of his name as “Frazeta” in the splash panel.











12 comments:

Ryan Anthony said...

Some conspiracy theorists have posited that one clue to Elvis still being alive is the fact that his middle name is spelled differently on his tombstone than it generally was in his life. And there are scholars who point out that the hick actor from Stratford never spelled his own name "Shakespeare," so he's not actually the writer of the world's greatest plays. Maybe "Frazeta" is spelled wrong on this story because it's a pseudonym for an artist other than the real Frank. No? Well, I tried. Anyway, it's certainly not the style that would make Frazetta world-famous later; in fact, there are panels that look very Caniffesque to me and others that are fairly cartoony (Is that a Jack Cole swipe I see?). You're probably right about there being more than one inker, Pappy; the characters aren't drawn with great consistency.

Brian Barnes said...

Granted, I'm bad at art spotting, and maybe because it's earlier and there's some crazy inker on it, but I would never have guessed Frazetta. It's certainly really dynamic art, though, and has the feel of a much better artist than a lot of comics had in the 40s. Some of it looks even Toth-ish.

Again, where do these jungle women get the conditioner for their hair? We need an episode on that!

Morbid said...

"...worked heavily over his pencils"

That's a nice way of saying that some hack(s) butchered his pencils with their inking. I could just image how angry he would have been, seeing videos and reading interviews showing how proud and passionate he was about his work. Man, he must have been bouncing off the walls when he saw what happened.

Doccomix said...

I suspect that Frazetta inked this himself. As for the misspelled Frazetta signature, that surprised me when I picked up a copy of that comic almost 40 years ago. But I read in one of Frazetta's interviews that he actually tried a couple of variations of spelling his name. The version on this splash may actually be closer to his actual family name (though don't quote me on that last part, as I may have recalled that part incorrectly). ;)

Russ said...

That's actually the correct spelling of his family name; he thought the later spelling looked better. Frank was a teen when he drew this and his early samples and sketchbook art were heavily influenced by Caniff, especially the sexy ladies. There's a Caniff-style spread here: http://www.parkablogs.com/content/book-review-frank-frazetta-art-and-remembrances

Darci said...

I'm not that familiar with Judy, but she may have been inspired by Isaiah 11:6, or at least William Blake's poem "Night". Perhaps she was a Quaker (see Edward Hicks' "Peaceable Kingdom")? Do we ever see her eat meat? Maybe she's a vegan?

cartoonjoe said...

Ok, since no one else is gonna bring this up, *I* will...HOW THE HECK DOES JUDY KEEP HER TOP UP WHEN SHE'S ENGAGING IN THESE STANDARD "JUNGLE QUEEN" HEROICS?!! Seriously, even the act of exhaling would make this story R-rated (not that that would be a bad thing, mind you...I'mean just sayin'...😉)

Pappy said...

Ryan, I see several swipes in early works by Frazetta, often of Hal Foster. But then, everybody swiped Foster.

Pappy said...

Brian, I have seen your hair, and it is tres chic. You would look great swinging through trees in the jungle.

As for conditioner, maybe those jungle gals used banana oil.

Pappy said...

Russ, Doccomix, going to Wikipedia it is claimed his birth name was spelled Frazzetta.

I believe he might have wanted to change it because the original spelling lends itself to calling him FRAZZ-etta.

I still maintain the strip was worked on by other hands, because it looks obvious to me based on my fifty years of looking at Frazetta's artwork, including his early work. The spelling of his name as Frazeta is more of a puzzle, but even if you think it came from him, you have to admit it is inconsistent with the way his signature was done during his career (even including his pseudonym, "Fritz").

Pappy said...

Darci, ha-ha. I'd be a vegan if I had to hunt my own food. Maybe Judy felt the same way, although she was pretty good with a knife on that poor hungry lion.

In the nearly 11 years of Pappy's Golden Age you may be the first person to actually give me something from the Bible. As for predators lying down with prey, what will the predators eat if they aren't eating the calf, the goat, etc.? Maybe start eating grass or leaves?

Russ said...

You're right; I misremembered the correct spelling. Good catch. As for his signature, I guess you know that his iconic way of signing was heavily inspired by Hal Foster's signature.