Monday, July 02, 2018

Number 2201: Good girl Sheena

Sheena,  Queen of the Jungle, was very popular during the 1940s. Fiction House, the publisher, aimed its comics at men, specifically young men, who liked looking at cheesecake artwork. They got that with Sheena, who was the first of many under-clothed, well-coiffed and shapely jungle women who followed her.

I have been looking for information on Robert H. Webb (who sometimes signed himself R.H. Webb or even Bob Webb), the artist during the greater part of Sheena’s comic book existence. I just can’t find out much, not even when Webb was born or died, or if he is still alive. What I found out in an online article here is that Webb did penciling and layouts, but did not draw the figure of Sheena. WHAT!? And here I have always imagined some comic book artist, not particularly well paid and yet working hard, finding satisfaction in being able to draw sexy females on every page. As the article explains, Webb worked for the Jerry Iger Shop, and the pages went through various artists’ hands for the drawing and then inker David Heames would, as the article states, “ink over the entire strip to obliterate any discernible differences in the different artist’s [sic] styles.”

The page also explains the comic book term “Good Girl Art,” or GGA. I first read the term in the '70s, and it can be read two ways: one, the pictures are of good girls, or two, the real meaning, is the artwork featuring girls is good, and in that case good means sexy. The term caught on, and it caught on because it was used to describe pin-up covers and artwork featuring women like Sheena.

Our story today is from Jumbo Comics #82 (1945).


Daniel [] said...

There are mysteries here!

I'm puzzled by Sheena's reference to a man-made balloon, as if there'd be a significant presence of balloons of other sorts.

Then there is the question of why the Pygmies who failed to capture the professor and his daughter in the first effort returned to Netanna.

There is also that of what, exactly, were Sheena's vengeance that Netanna would suffer.

Also, who's the fellow in the pith helmet, in the final panel?

But most puzzling of all is your reference to these jungle women as being “under-clothed”, unless you were more specifically concerned with some of them being under-shod. (The soles of their feet must have been like rhinoceros hide!) Barring that, I cannot see a real problem here!

Pappy said...

Dan'l, I'd think the bare feet of a jungle girl would have callouses that .45 caliber bullets would bounce off. If not, stepping on a thorn would ruin someone's week. It would be unseemly, outside the fantasy, to have Sheena wearing thick-soled leather boots. Or maybe not...there are probably some guys, somewhere, who would like that.

Daniel [] said...

Pappy, a goth jungle girl would out-sell everything else on the racks!