Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A Beautiful Bevy Of Jungle Queens!

It was not a scheme when the month began but I sure have focused on a lot of jungle adventures this month, especially those featuring femme fatales of the flora and fauna. Sheena was and is the most well known of these distaff Greystokes, but there were many many others. Below I've captured some comics covers featuring some of the ones which crossed my noggin. 

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Tanya, Queen Of The Jungle!

I want this to be a good movie so much, but it just ain't. Sheena is slow and dreary and while it is indeed punctuated by a funny line here and there, and the taut erotic splendor of Tanya Roberts is on full display this jungle yarn still never rises above simmer. There are a few lovely scenes of the Kenyan flora and fauna, but alas they serve little narrative purpose.

The movie, if perhaps you don't know concerns a young blonde girl who loses her parents and is adopted by a shaman of a native tribe. She is believed to be a figure of myth, but frankly this is never really clear to me. She does have a power to communicate with the animals of Africa like elephants, chimps, and lions and such. A local coup brings her into danger when two reporters have evidence of the upheaval and she chooses to help them. Part of her motivation is that as part of the coup her mentor was killed to provide cover for it. Sheena and her charges evade guns for pretty much the rest of the movie.

Now truth told, the movie does proved time for to catch a bath. Her nudity is of  no consequence to her, but of course puts her male companion in a bit of a tight spot. Actually truth told, aside from this one scene little is made of Sheena's relative nakedness and that's to the movie's credit. She is part of the natural world and that is communicated by the ease her body fits into it.

I mentioned that Sheena can communicate with animals and she can, but unfortunately the gimmick they use is for her to put her hand to her head and grimace. Each time Sheena summons an animal she looks for all the world like she is having an enormous migraine. It's a flaw that screams at me each and every time the gimmick surfaces.

Of course Sheena saves the day, and order is returned to the jungle. Why "order" is always defined by the some damned monarchy or other is always annoying to me, but I guess that comes with the territory when you are dealing with a "Queen of the Jungle".

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Monday, July 29, 2019

Sanjulian's Demon Queen!

She's one of those ladies you cannot forget. Manuel Sanjulian's "Demon Queen" from the cover Eerie magazine is at once an attractive and repulsive figure -- the kind of monster who kills.

Here is what I believe to be the pencil version of Sanjulian's memorable masterpiece.

But it might well be connected to this recreation done by Sanjulain.

The original lured the public once again as both the front and back covers of Warren's Ring of the Warlords, published to piggyback the notoriety of Ralph Bashki's version of The Lord of the Rings

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Frazetta's Goblin Queen!

What a memorable image is the "Goblin Queen" as she struts atop her ghastly minions, a sacrifice below embraced by bony fingers. There's no doubt that whatever it was, Frank Frazetta had it and a Frazetta image attracted eyes and dollars back then and still today. This cover for National Lampoon showcases Frazetta's talent for buxom beauty, horror and comedy. It's not a blend all artists can pull off.  And apparently it took Frazetta a few attempts to find the balance he desired. 

Here is what seems to be a sketch with the Queen on the other side of her monstrous horde.

And here's that same image with the titles attached.

It's a luxurious image, spitting out little details here and there for the eye to discover.

The art was used by Pacific Comics in the late 70's on one of its catalogs and according to reports, help spike sales significantly. Few can resist getting their mitts on a juicy Frazetta.

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

A Day In The Anti-Life - Schoolyard Politics!

It came to me so very clearly after trudging through some of the Mueller testimony aftermath that we are in the hands of a bully. I've long ago realized that our Dotard-in-Chief had the emotional development of a young adolescent, but what evaded my understanding somehow was that his ruthless but immature manner of conducting business is contagious. The scions of Washington, the denizens of the "Swamp" as Trump often bellows are cowards. That's his secret sauce, that's where his potency comes from. He saw that and like the savage he is, he went for the throat. The fact that he is himself a man riddled with fears and is obviously always felt that he was inadequate has only made his over compensation all the more vigorous and now for the country dangerous.

I hear that after Mueller didn't come to their rescue with fire-breathing homilies to justice that the Democrats are even more reluctant to do what is obviously necessary -- impeach the President of the United States for well-documented violations of his oath of office, and of the law which applies to all American citizens. It's now clear why "The Squad" has stolen the thunder of the Democratic leadership, there was little leadership to steal. A majority of American citizens realize that their President is a man of low character who is long-past deserving of opponents who can match his vigor. If the Democrats do not impeach the President they will have failed in their primary function as elected leaders, to protect their constituents from enemies domestic.

The bully is powerful only because he or she is given the power which they ought not have. Either it is through the capitulation of their rivals or the collapse of other authorities to maintain control. Democrats were given control of the House of Representatives to put a block on the predations of the Republican party. In terms of legislation at least this has largely taken hold, but also the Dems were sent back to Washington to shine a candle on the perfidy of the our pernicious executive branch. And after having shined that light and seen the cockroaches take steps to squash them. Can they do it all without the help of the Senate currently in the clutches of the D-Nothing McConnell, not likely. But they can at the very least try. Elections have consequences but so far the election of 2018 has yielded little but braying and moral condemnations. Punch the bully in the nose as hard as you can. Mueller was never your "daddy" and he is not coming to save you. But he has given you the substance to accomplish the deed. Just do it! Will it knock him on his ass? Not likely, that will come with the election of 2020 if we're fortunate, but failure to act will only embolden the bully.

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Panther Girl Of The Kongo!

I have one word for you in regards the serial Panther Girl of the Kongo -- Crawdads! This movie purports to have monsters, but it turns out those claws are actually attached to enormous crawdads or as they are known in other parts crayfish. I grew up with an Appalachian creek only yards from my house and we spent many an hour playing with crawdads. I might even have been pinched once, but never would I have felt threatened. Now make them the size of Volkswagens and maybe you have something and I guess that's the deal here. But I just keep seeing crawdads.

This is a pot-boiler, with a steady stream of action, but the action has a sameness to it that robs it of the vitality usually associated with these Republic outings. Phyllis Coates is the eponymous "Panther Girl" though why is largely speculative save for one chapter clipped from the Jungle Girl serial in which she fights a lion dressed as panther maybe. Much of Panther Girl's jungle antics are from Jungle Girl but that doesn't bother me, I'm used to that kind of economy. There was just so little imagination used in fitting it all in.

The plot is dead simple. Myron Healey plays "Larry", a great white hunter type who comes to aid Panther Girl stave off some claw monsters -- the aforementioned crawdads. This use of giant crawdads is a ruse by a scientist and two thugs to keep folks away while the plunder a diamond mine. mine. (As is often the case more financial return by far could've been had with the hormones used to made the crawdads big, but no one gets that for some reason.) There are just crawdads in the distance they shoot at and a giant claw prop that reaches in and grabs a few folks, but that's about it.

One thing that did bother me about this serial and about most of the jungle girl serials is that why to varying degrees they are damsels in distress, the ones who kick butt really shouldn't scream. It's out of character. Also the natives in this one span the distance from unfortunate stereotypes to a king who talks normally and should've been the model for all of them. This one is kind of a snore to be honest.

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