Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ol' Groove's Request Line: Carson of Venus

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! It's time for another radical request from a far-out fan! This time around, Groove-ophile Mike Boley writes, "How about putting up some Carson of Venus? My friends say this was a back-up in a DC title in the 1970s. Love your site. Look at it every day." Well, Mighty Mike, to reward both your good taste and loyalty, Ol' Groove is gonna grant your request for some 1970s DC Carson Napier! Dig on this, baby! The first two chapters of Len Wein and Mike Kaluta's adaptation of ERB's Pirates of Venus!

Your friends were right-on about Carson appearing as a back-up in a 1970s DC title. In fact, Edgar Rice Burroughs' space-faring adventurer appeared as a back-up feature in DC's Korak, Son of Tarzan from issues 46-56 (March 1972-December 1973), Tarzan #230 (January 1974), and Tarzan Family (actually Korak under a new title) issues 60-65 (August 1975-July 1976), In Korak #s 46-51, writer Len Wein and artist Mike Kaluta adapted the very first novel, Pirates of Venus. Kaluta took over the writing of the series with Korak #52, finishing Pirates and then adapting Lost on Venus for the remainder of the Korak run, as well as in Tarzan #230. The stories in Tarzan Family were reprints from the Korak series.


  1. Would love to see a color best of Kaluta volume from DC. Especially oversized and recolored.

  2. This needs to be collected in trade form. some of my favorite kaluta work.

    1. Mike Kaluta would agree.I was talking to him on Facebook and wonder why his ERB comic never saw reprints,like so much else.This was intro to wrong way Carson.

  3. You'll get no argument from me, gents!

  4. Wow, I loved these when they came out. And I still do! I have to ask, any chance for all of them to be scanned and posted? I lost mine years ago. Take your time, if it's a possible future project. I'm patient. Thanks a lot.

  5. Great early work by Michael Kaluta, in collaboration with the recently departed Len Wein, both of whose talent was quick to receive award-winning recognition. These were serialized in KORAK 46-56, and then continued in TARZAN 230-234. Would that someone at DC (or Dark Horse, or SOMEONE!) were listening, and this series could be concluded with new work by Kaluta.

    Kaluta is among the precious few who is still doing work that is on a par with the work he was doing 45 years ago. I'd gladly shell out my hard earned cash for a decorative hardcover collection of these stories.

    1. Are you sure that this story was continued in Tarzan 230-234? I see a notation for 230, but it looks like a reprint of the story from Korak #54...and I don't see any indication that the other issues of Tarzan carried the Carson story.

    2. Sorry, Brother K, I haven't been back this way in a long while. After the "Carson of Venus" backups ended in KORAK 56, there was one last new Carson of Venus story by Kaluta in TARZAN 230 (April-May 1974). KORAK ended with issue 59, and the title of the magazine changed to TARZAN FAMILY for issues 60-66 (bimonthly from Dec 1975-Dec 1976), where as you say the first 6 of the Kaluta Carson of Venus backup stories were reprinted in issues 60-65.

      Only with the Overstreet Guide and back issues at a comic store did I find that TARZAN 230 issue (a 100-page 60-cent issue). A correction, that was the only Kaluta story in TARZAN. The ones in TARZAN FAMILY were all reprints. There was also a Kaluta Pellucidar story in WEIRD WORLDS 4, that our friend Groove also posted here for your reading pleasure:

      And here are all of Groove's Carson of Venus backups, from KORAK 46-56 and TARZAN 230:

      "Carson of Venus" chapters 1 and 2, by Wein/Kaluta, from KORAK 46 and 47, May and July 1972 (shown above)

      "Carson of Venus" chapters 3 and 4, from KORAK 48 and 49, Sept and Nov 1972.

      "Carson of Venus" chapters 5 and 6, from KORAK 50 and 51, Nov 1972 and Jan 1973.

      "Carson of Venus" chapters 7 and 8, from KORAK 52 and 53, June and August 1973.

      "Carson of Venus" chapter 9, from KORAK 54, Oct 1973.

      "Carson of Venus" chapter 10, from KORAK 55, Dec 1973.

      "Carson of Venus" chapters 11 and 12, from KORAK 56, Dec 1973, and TARZAN 230, Feb 1974.

      Groove in his above comments with the first 2 parts says a lot of what I just repeated, about KORAK 46-56, the last part in TARZAN 230, and the reprints in TARZAN FAMILY 60-65.

      And unknown to me till recently, IDW collected these stories in a 2014 hardcover.

      Another comics publisher called American Mythology also reprinted the Carson of Venus Kaluta stories, in CARSON OF VENUS: PIRATES OF VENUS issue 1 (Dec 2018, reprinting the stories from 46-49), and issue 2 (Jan 2019, reprinting 50-53).

      I have the two-issue reprint, I'm still looking for the hardcover.



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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!

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!