Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Melvin Of The Apes!

In the winter of 1952 EC Comics published a brilliant satirical tale by Harvey Kurtzman and John Severin titled merely "Melvin!" in MAD #2.

This parody of the Tarzan stories, of the original novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs but mostly of films from MGM and RKO, is a well-crafted comics tale by two masters.

It must've proven to be a hit because in the summer of 1953 Kurtzman and Severin produced a sequel.

"Melvin of the Apes!" from MAD #6 finds many more aspects of the Tarzan story to lampoon.

And that was that for poor Melvin.

But nearly twenty years later, after the demise of EC Comics, Marvel wanted to dabble in satire. In SPOOF #2 in 1972 Roy Thomas tapped the talent of John Severin once again to lend his hand to a Tarzan parody.

In fact two Severins were brought in, as Marie Severin pencilled the saga of "Tarz an' The Apes!" with her brother John on inking chores. Though it's not official this is in fact a sequel of sorts to the vintage Melvin stories from two decades earlier. The King of the Jungle finds his way to New York this time and meets some familiar faces.

And that's the satirical saga of one Melvin of the Apes. But John Severin was not done with Tarzan by any means. Below is a Tarzan gag by the late great Mr.Severin featured as a cover for Cracked Magazine.

And the Jungle Lord just keeps swingin'!

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