Friday, January 11, 2019
Number 2285: Fighting Females Week: Nyoka the Jungle Girl
Today we have Nyoka the Jungle Girl. Nyoka did not go to the regular jungle girl stores, judging by her outfit. While others like Sheena and Lorna and Rulah wore as little as possible in jungle attire, Nyoka went the other way. She dressed sensibly. I can tell the boots she wears, rather than going barefoot, would make walking on the jungle floor much easier on the feet.
Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 1932 novel, Jungle Girl,* was the genesis of the Nyoka comic book. When a 15-chapter Jungle Girl serial was made in 1941 it bore no relation to Burroughs’ work, so he had his name taken off the serial’s credits. There were two Nyoka serials, and in 1944 Nyoka began appearing in Fawcett comics, in Master Comics and also her own title. There were some efforts to simulate the movie serial format, having continued stories in the same issue. I haven’t read too many Nyoka stories, but this one doesn’t stray too far from the template for jungle adventure plots: crooked white people rip off African tribesman, and Nyoka comes along to save the day.
One thing, though...in this story Nyoka owns a gift shop, where the villainess steals the costume with which she bamboozles the natives. I’ve seen some oddball things in jungle comics, but a gift shop...?
Grand Comics Database gives no writer or artist credits for Nyoka the Jungle Girl #6 (1946).
*The filmmakers did a clean sweep of disposing of the original novel and its characters. They didn’t use the name, Fou-Tan, Burroughs’ jungle girl.