Friday, February 7, 2014

Making a Splash: John Buscema, Lord of the Jungle! (Part One)

What it is, Groove-ophiles! Last Friday Ol' Groove promised to share some sensational John Buscema Tarzan Lord of the Jungle splashes with ya--well, here ya go! Now, Big John stayed on Tarzan's mag from the first ish (March 1977) until ish 18 (August 1978), so Ol' Groove's gonna split 'em up--splashes from issues 1-9, plus the 1977 annual today, issues 10-18 in the near future, fair 'nuff? Don't wanna overload on the sheer wonderment in one sitting now, do we?

Writer/editor Roy Thomas kept a solid stable of inkers for John B.'s pencils: Big John himself on the first two issues, with Tony DeZuniga, Rudy Mesina, Steve Gan, and Alfredo Alcala finishing the rest. Powerful stuff, innit? Notice, too, that many issues had an extra full-page splash. That was to give the U.S. audience their full 17 pages of story (yeah, that's all we got in 77), but with a page that could be dropped for the U.K. audience who only got 16 pages! Crazee, huh?


  1. Thanks, Groove, for this wonderful exhibition that demonstrates why I think John Buscema drew the best comic-version of Tarzan.

  2. It's always bugged me: was there a comic code "No dude nipple" rule or was it just an artistic convention like all-white eyeballs?

    1. Thank you,Mr Groove,for sharing!
      Regarding "No nude nipple" noticed by Sir Alvin;
      there's an interview with Mr Hogarth (himself of Tarzan fame) where
      he speaks about his dislike of drawing nipples (and, if I remember correctly,
      body hair).
      Someone remember? Comics Journal perhaps?
      /Mr Anonymous

    2. I know the Big John and these very inkers put nipples on Conan, so why not on Tarzan (writer/editor Roy Thomas even said he'd add them when the artists forgot)? I don't have anything to back me up, but methinks t'was either an ERB thing (Kubert didn't draw 'em on his Tarzan) or perhaps t'was because of the near-simultaneous distribution in the U.K.?

  3. The first few pages of #3 were also inked by John Buscema, with the rest inked by the credited Tony DeZuniga. -- Jeff Clem

  4. the last page you posted looks like a Kubert piece



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