Friday, December 14, 2018

Number 2273: Go-go Jo-Jo

Jo-Jo Congo King first appeared in Jo-Jo #7 (1947). The comic book had originally been a funny animal anthology title, and was continued using the same name, Jo-Jo, to fool the Post Office into thinking it was the same book. Every time a new comic book came out the publisher had to pay for a new postal permit, so many of them tried to fool the P.O. by continuing publication under another name until they got caught.

Jo-Jo’s first story, shown here, doesn’t bother itself with an origin. Who the hell cared? The only things that mattered for Fox Features Syndicate were jungle thrills and female skin, both in abundance in all their jungle comics. Artwork was done by the Iger Studios.

Besides appropriating the name of a funny animal comic book for a jungle incarnation, someone at Fox screwed up and numbered two issues as #7. This issue is known as #7a, and the second is, surprise! #7b. As Don Markstein commented about Jo-Jo, they made up for two #7’s by missing issue #13 entirely. Jo-Jo appeared in his own title for two years, which then became My Desire. Switching genres was not enough to save Fox’s comic book line, which went into bankruptcy in 1950. Other publishers picked up characters like Jo-Jo and artwork after the bankruptcy, sometimes changing Jo-Jo’s name. Jo-Jo had a second life in comic books through reprints.


Brian Barnes said...

I really like the pacing in that one -- it's incredibly fast! It's also a bit misogynistic, though, as our queen doesn't listen to the "wise" guys and just hangs gold everywhere.

The armored elephant is a idea I haven't seen in a jungle comic!

I do like how Jo-Jo just runs away at the beginning. Sure, he's setting a trap, but it's not exactly heroic!

Pappy said...

Brian, you remember the old saying, don't you? “He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.” I am with Jo-Jo in his strategic withdrawal. Personally, owing to a strong will to live and avoid conflict I am of the opinion that “he who fights and runs away, lives to run away another day.”