Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"B" Is For Bomba!

Jack Sparling

One of the great journeyman artists of comics was Jack Sparling. It seemed at times that every other comic I picked up in the late 60's and early 70's was drawn by the evidently reliable and speedy Mr.Sparling. While he was rarely any editor's first choice for a comic, he was often the second choice picking up a series and drawing it until it disappeared.


That certainly was the case with DC's Bomba the Jungle Boy. Leo Summers drew the first few issues of the comic, but Sparling came in behind him and finished up the short seven issue series about the Tarzan wannabe hero who was a sturdy part of the films thanks to former Tarzan star Johnny Sheffield's portrayal on screen of the classic Roy Rockwood 1926 creation.

What prompted DC to bring Bomba the Jungle Boy to comics in 1967 is anyone's guess, but it gave Jack Sparling a chance to create one of his greatest covers, seen above. Likely this cover was designed by Carmine Infantino. But whatever the case, Sparling's image is dynamic and the colors fairly vibrate with intensity.


Here is that cover in the raw minus its copy.


And here is the original and very impressive image.



This comic got the full treatment as part of this blockbuster ad.


Another dynamic Sparling effort is the cover to the fourth issue.


Here's the original to that one.


And here's another version with the logo intact.

Below is a cover gallery for Bomba the Jungle Boy. In a short run, the series turned out some fantastic covers. George Kashdan was the editor of the series through its fourth issue and Dick Giordano fresh from Charlton took over with the fifth installment.

Carmine Infantino & Charles Cuidera

Dick Dillin & Charles Cuidera

Jack Sparling

Jack Sparling

Jack Sparling

Later DC reprinted some of the Bomba stories in a few of their 100-Page Tarzan comics, but since they had lost the license for the character he was renamed "Simba".

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