Thursday, February 12, 2009

If You Blinked You Missed: Skywald Publications' Zangar

Back in the early 70s, Marvel's production man Sol Brodsky teamed with former Super Comics publisher Israel Waldman to produce a line of black and white and color comic mags under the ingeniously-named Skywald Publications (get it? Brodsky and Waldman? Skywald? Sheesh.) The company's biggest successes were a trio of cheap-o horror mags in the mold of Warren's Creepy and Eerie called Nightmare, Psycho, and Scream (aka the Horror Mood line edited by "Archaic"Al Hewetson--more on all of that in a future post), but they also produced some experimental material in their black and white and color lines, like today's subject, a pretty cool Tarzan rip-off created by Golden/Silver Age great Gardner Fox and self-publishing pioneer Jack (the First Kingdom) Katz called Zangar, who appeared as the only all-new feature (the rest of the mag was Golden Age jungle comic reprints) in all three issues of Jungle Adventures (December, 1970-March, 1971). Since there were only three issues of JA, it stands to reason that Zangar only appeared in three tales, right? And you, you lucky Groove-ophile you, are gonna get to plant your peepers on 'em right now!


  1. Irregardless of the content, that Skywald "lamppost" call-out icon is rad.

    I recall the one for THE HEAP now that I think about it.

    A classy touch.

  2. Hey!
    These aren't half bad!

    Zangar is a bit loopy there when he's trying to figure out who he is...and I won't go into the "I need a weapon! Oh, lookie, a dead guy holding a knife! AND some fine lookin' BLING!" and proceeding to grave-rob. The weapon, sure. I'll give him that.
    But then he purloins the dead's artifacts for his own... bad Zangar. BAD!

    The first issue almost looks like it was drawn by Marie Severin (with maybe some Carmine Infantino inks).
    2nd issue the artwork got much crisper.
    3rd seemed to go back to an almost Severin-style elements.

    No credits on these, huh?
    I can only imagine it was to protect the "day jobs" of pros who were moonlighting.

    Not bad.
    Not bad at all, really.

  3. Yeah, Jack Katz is another artist I could never warm up to. Here at least his style seems like an amalgam of everybody working at Marvel during that same period. On FIRST KINGDOM, it was so busy and stylized that I had trouble plowing through the whole damn thing. I did finish reading it but I can't tell you a thing about it now.

  4. I got a real Ditko vibe from the first ish, myself; dunno if Katz was experimenting or what, there. I have been trying to track down inking credits for those mags. I know the second one was inked by Vinnie Colletta. The third one looks like Frank Giacoia to me.

    And I agree, with ya ~P~ they're not half bad! You'll be seeing the Heap and all those westerns popping up here in the future.

    YOu have a point about Katz's art, Booksteve; the detail Katz put into the art on First Kingdom is challenging to say the least!

  5. Groove,

    I agree with you that the inkers on the 2nd and 3rd stories are Colletta and Giacoia. I'm not certain about the first issue, perhaps Katz inked himself on that story.

    Nick Caputo

  6. I didn't notice until you posted all his appearances together, but in issue 1 Zangar is Bob Gordon and in issue 2 he's Bob Manning?



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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