Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tarzan By Hogarth!




When my wife and girls asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I said Tarzan. And boy did they deliver. These three volumes collecting the Tarzan comic strips produced by Burne Hogarth and Don Garden are the bee's knees indeed.


Already having the enormous Hal Foster volumes from Dark Horse, I was somewhat reluctant to pop for these Hogarth volumes from Titan when they first appeared, but time has worn me down and I find I want more of this classic material.


I first ran across images from the Hogarth run on the series in Coupiere's and Horn's A History of the Comic Strip, a book I checked out of my local library countless times. Along with the text about comic strips I'd never much seen nor heard of were panels and other art examples which tantalized me as a boy. Many were by Hogarth from this run on the classic ERB hero. Nice at long long last to have them in their proper context.


There is a fourth and final volume in this run from Titan and I'm already looking forward to it. Christmas is coming sooner than you'd think and hopefully Titan will have it ready.

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2 comments:

  1. I think I saw Hogarth for the first time in that book as well, or it may have been in Steranko's History. Translations of European books on comics were really fresh in perspective (there was a German book called Comics: Anatomy of a Mass Medium) during a period when there were few domestic surveys. It was fairly easy (and cheap) to get hold of every hardcover book about comics extant.

    Hogarth was much more revered in Europe than in the U.S. and his comics have been almost continually in print from the forties on. His more sinister depiction of Tarzan's world seemed to resonate with the Europeans, whose comics were less emotional and more studied, though that changed as time passed. His way of depicting anatomy, motion, and especially rendering in ink created an approach that was used in many of the early super hero comics and lasted into the sixties.

    Here's hoping that somebody does a quality color reprint of Hogarth's Drago series.

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    1. I've long found Hogarth's more evolved style weirdly beautiful but oddly static in a way, a sense that the technique was overworking the essence of the images depicted. But I've grown more interested in his work in recent years and have overcome my early biases. His work on Tarzan lacks the overwrought quality I find in his later work.

      I just read about the Drago series a few weeks ago. I know very little about it, but it's intriguing.

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