Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Tarzan Of The Swipes!
There is very little way to overestimate the impact of Joe Kubert's interpretation of the Tarzan the Ape Man upon my impressionable mind all those decades ago. I was familiar with a few of Frazetta's images for the book covers, I'd seen a smattering of the Ballantine cover art, and I had gotten hold of Gold Key comics with the smooth and elegant Russ Manning interpretation. Kubert brought something new, something vital and powerful to the understanding of the Ape Man, Kubert made him dangerous and grim and lethal.
For all its impact alas, the Kubert run was a relatively short one, but nonetheless was one published across the world. When Mexican publisher Editorial Novalo got the material they apparently needed to have painted covers, so they had an unknown artist redo the powerful Kubert covers. Sadly, despite the competent nature of the paintings by and large not a single one is as effective as the Kubert original. The lighting, the rough hewn lines, were all crucial to the way the Kubert Ape Man is perceived. To shine it up is to lose the essence.
For whatever their value though, here is a gallery of the originals alongside their later revisions.