Monday, September 08, 2008

Reprint This! Jann of the Jungle

Today's reprint market is incredible when compared to what we had 20 years ago ago. We are able to pick up collections in a variety of formats, in a variety of genres from a variety of publishers. One genre that has been overlooked for far too long are 'jungle books'. In the late 40s and 50s, there were a plethora of jungle titles, many of which featured female leads such as Sheena, Nyoka and Rulah. The early 70s saw a small comeback in the jungle genre (spurred by Ka-Zar?) as Marvel, DC and even Skywald all got in on the (jungle) action, with some wonderful reprints thrown into the mix. Sadly, the trend was short-lived and we haven't seen any real signs that they'll be coming back any time soon.

It was in the pages of Jungle Action that I first encountered the Jann of the Jungle strip. It's fairly standard fare - jungle girl works hard to help 'savages' while still striving to appear feminine to any handsome American that might show up. It's a lot of fun, though - with a some humorous chauvinism in the form of 'the jungle is no place for a girl' type lines. Why choose Jann, when there are so many Jungle Queens from which to choose? Well, first - between her stories in Jungle Tales and her own title, we'd have enough pages to fill a nice volume. Second, the Jay Scott Pike provides the majority of the artwork and his fine work needs to be seen by more people. Al Williamson takes over from Pike towards the end, so that a pretty nice replacement. Finally, Jann #16 features one of my favourite covers of all-time, and if I can track down an original copy - I'd at least like one in a TPB.


craig (benday-dot) said...

I couldn't agree more Scott. I have, forgive me, long been a closet jungle girl fan. Whenever I can get a "cheapish" Fiction House Jumbo or Jungle Comic I go for it. And they don't do it like they used to. The current "monster breasts meets dino-guts" Jungle Girl title by Cho/Batista (from Dynamite) just doesn't do it for me.

I actually prefer Lorna to Jann as far as Atlas jungle queens go. My love for Werner Roth is just a little greater than for J.S. Pike.

I have a decent copy of the Bill Everett and Al Williamson blessed Jann #16 (paid about $40.00 for it a few years back). If it didn't also have one of my favourite covers of all time I would ship it your way.

aaron king said...

"Al Williamson takes over from Pike towards the end, so that was a pretty nice replacement."

I love Al Williamson, so I'll assume you were containing all your excitement and joy in his art.

Did you enjoy the Fantomah features in I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets!? Not quite the same thing, I know, but maybe a sign that we're getting closer.

Jeremy A. Patterson said...

Jann is going to be featured in Marvel Masterworks: Jungle Adventures Volume 2, coming May 2011!