Sunday, November 1, 2015

Angels And Apes!

Why do we love apes? I guess it's because they remind us of us. That said, this month will see the second "Ape Month" in the "Rip's Favorite Cover" Feature. The Dojo featured apes last year during November, and it seemed well past time to use up the rest of those awesome primate-themed covers gathered. There are hundreds of them, if not thousands.

Also November will not have any large themes other than what comes to mind. I've got several book reviews coming up and there is a general trend towards mysteries since that's what I've been mostly reading and viewing over the last many months. Some of these reviews have been rattling around in the dusty closets of the Dojo for months waiting their turn to emerge and shine, and this month I need to finally dust them off and get them out for the sake of the adoring public.

So it's going to be hopefully another fun-filled month here. Hang on to your branch my fellow semi-evolved amigos!

A comics series that bridges the minor interests this month of apes and mysteries is the delicious DC series Angel and the Ape, a weird brew about a beautiful girl named Angel O'Day and her comics artist partner who just so happens to be a talking gorilla named Sam Simeon. Created by E. Nelson Bridwell, it's such a weird concept, so out there, and yet so fresh, that I'm stunned it's never been made into a TV series. It's a natural. And now for no better reason than I love the lively artwork of Bob Oksner, especially the way he draws dames, here's a vintage Angel and the Ape cover gallery.

They keep Sam a mystery on the debut cover in Showcase.
He's featured front and center on the debut issue of the regular series.
Shares equal space with Angel on the second cover.
Moves behind her but is still very prominent on the third installment.
The fourth issue sees a logo change with Angel getting great play and poor Sam begins to diminish.
Still equal in size but just one of the elements in this hectic monster-rich cover. Bob Hope where are you?
But the monsters take over in the sixth issue with Sam reduced to a back bencher. Note we are invited to "Meet Angel and the Ape", an ominous portent.
Sadly by the seventh and last issue Sam was gone from the cover and "Ape" was gone from the logo. We were invited instead to "Meet Angel" alone. Sam is in the issue though.

These need to be collected, along with Inferior 5.

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  1. It's beyond me why this wasn't made into a Saturday morning cartoon. It would've been perfect in 1969 or 70, and the comic might've had the healthy lifespan it deserved. I ran across a reprint in a DC tabloid in the 70's, and actually liked the story. The comedy worked. At the time I though the whole thing was much better than it should've been, given the gimmicky concept. Just shows how creative DC was in this time period. And that Oksner art! I am just now starting to appreciate what a wonderful artist he was. he had that same smooth style that Nick Cardy had. His Supergirl work around the same time was also great. He was extremely underrated.

    James Chatterton

    1. Oksner is an unsung talent for sure, responsible for some of the tastiest good girl art of the era, his Lois Lane covers are downright kinky. You can see that tendency toward subtle kink in the cover of number three above. I'm not aware that Oksner ever did any "erotic" comics but he'd have been great at it.

      Rip Off


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