||Jumbo and Jungle Comics
the time the queen and king of the Golden Age comic
book jungles had taken their final swings on those oh-so-improbable
vines, only Superman and Batman had appeared during
more consecutive months among characters created for
American comic books.
appeared in all 167 issues of Jumbo Comics
(1938-53) and Kaanga in all 163 issues of Jungle
Comics (1940-54), giving those classic Fiction
House titles two of the most enduring characters of
the Golden Age.
Today, Will Eisner's and Jerry Iger's Sheena, originally
created as an English newspaper strip, is by far the
better known of the two characters. Sheena emerged as
the star of two syndicated television series nearly
half a century apart, not to mention a movie distribution
three decades after she last appeared.
Ironically, Kaanga was clearly a Tarzan knockoff, yet
the so-called Jungle Lord dominated the potted-palm
comic book scene long before Tarzan earned his own regularly
published Dell comic book. That occurred nearly half
a century after Tarzan first appeared on the pulp magazine
scene in 1912.
For some reason, though, the Kaanga-like character Ki-Gor
was a huge hit in the Fiction House pulps, but Sheena
barely made a blip on the pulp scene, especially considering
her impact on the comics. Ki-Gor appeared in 59 consecutive
quarterly issues of Jungle Stories (from Winter
1938-39 to Spring 1954), but Sheena's only pulp stories
were published in a one-shot Sheena pulp in 1951 (three
stories) and in the final issues of Jungle Stories.
When looking over the history of Jumbo and
Jungle, there's no question that Jumbo
is the more collectible comic, especially since this
anthology of original strips went through several distinct
Jumbo #1-8 (September 1938 to June/July 1939)
were oversized 10½-inch by 14½-inch experiments,
all in black and white, looking much like DC's New
Fun Comics #1-6 of 1936. If you can acquire even
one issue of the first eight Jumbos in any
complete condition, consider yourself fortunate, since
all eight are among the scarcest of Golden Age comics.
Sheena didn't take over Jumbo's cover on a
regular basis until #17 (July 1940) and immediately
made the title one of the most distinctive looking and
original of the early Golden Age. A flood of jungle
queen imitations didn't hit the stands in their own
titles until after the super heroes began their gradual
decline following World War II.
Jumbo's interiors didn't vary much throughout
the 1940s, what with the familiar likes of The Hawk,
ZX-5, Stuart Taylor and Inspector Dayton, all of which
appeared in the first 63 issues (the last 68-pager was
#51). The one "different" feature, Lightning,
was different only for Fiction House, which produced
only a handful of genuine super heroes.
Lightning made one of the strangest debuts in history
— he appeared in full super heroic regalia on
the cover of #14, yet did not appear inside until his
8-page back-of-the-book debut in #15 (May 1940). His
only other full-fledged cover appearance was #16, making
that issue a "must" if you want a representative
collection of what made early Fiction House comics absolute
standouts on the newsstands. Lightning lasted through
#41 (July 1942) as the company's longest-running costume
hero. The long-running Ghost Gallery replaced Lightning
in #42 and never left the title. Another long-running
strip, Sky Girl, debuted in #68 (October 1944) and ran
through #130 (except #79), with almost all stories done
by Matt Baker, giving Baker completists quite a financial
challenge, if not rarities to chase. Every comic convention
seems to have several issues of Jumbo.
Sheena appeared in two stories (a total of 20 pages
in each issue) of Jumbo #141-149, which were
the last 52-page issues. Jumbo dropped to 36
pages (including covers) with #150. What makes Jumbo
#151-167 worth collecting are covers by Maurice Whitman,
who began drawing most of them with #146 and composed
strikingly different horror covers for #151-167 when
the publishers decided Sheena was no longer a cover
draw. The versatile, under-rated Whitman drew dozens
of Fiction House covers in the 1950-54 period, no doubt
keeping several titles alive until the publisher was
on its last legs.
Jungle was unique with regard to genre —
as was the sister title Planet — when
#1 (January 1940) appeared, part of a deluge of new
titles from numerous publishers in the first half of
1940, the first year comics really became a cultural
phenomenon. But other than some marvelous early covers
by several talented artists, Jungle quickly
became repetitive and remained that way throughout the
run. Camilla, Wambi, Tabu, Simba the Lion, Fantomah,
Captain Terry Thunder — all were well drawn but
none were especially memorable.
Jungle's last 68-pager was #41 (May 1943) and
its final 52-pager was #139 (July 1951). Sheena appeared
in a 12-page story in #158 (Spring 1953), immediately
following the demise of Jumbo. Tiger Girl appeared
in 5- or 6-page stories in #152-163 (except #158) while
shifting over from Fight Comics after her last
appearance in #81. Just as he did with Jumbo,
Maurice Whitman turned in striking covers for Jungle
beginning with #132.
Unless you're a completist, your best bet with Fiction
House is to check both the covers and interiors of any
issues of Jumbo or Jungle that tickle
your fancy or meet your price point. Most of the artists
who worked between 1940 and 1954 were competent at worst
and wonderfully dynamic at best. If you can acquire
a couple dozen copies of each, you can call yourself
the owner of a truly representative collection.
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CGC Signature Series in Full Effect for Brian Michael Bendis, Warren Ellis and Bill Willingham at the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon this April!
The newest addition to this year's Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon, Brian Michael Bendis, writer of Ultimate Spider-Man, New Avengers, Powers, the Pulse, Secret War
, and the upcoming House of M
, will be one of the many creators available for the prestigious CGC Signature Series label. Brian joins Warren Ellis, the writer of Planetary, Iron Man, Ultimate Nightmare, Ultimate Secret
, and the upcoming Desolation Jones
and Bill Willingham, writer of Fables
and the upcoming Day of Vengeance
"We're very honored to have these distinguished writers at the show," said co-promoter Kevin Boyd. "Being a fan of all three writers, I'm already excited, and the fans have been buzzing about the news on the Web. The opportunity to have a comic signed and submitted for the CGC Signature Series has never been easier. It is an amazing chance to get the only 100% authenticated signatures in our hobby from creators who don't travel to Canada very often."
The April 29-May 1, 2005 convention will be held at the National Trade Centre in Toronto, Canada. "We've moved into the East Annex of the main National Trade Centre building this year... so we're even closer to parking and public transit and only a short walk away from our old location in the Queen Elizabeth Building." said co-promoter Peter Dixon.
"Fans in Toronto know that the Paradise show is a quality comic book show. They (the fans) are appreciated every day of the event," said Kevin Boyd. "Peter and I put a lot of attention into making the con experience as fun and friendly as possible for everyone." Wide aisles, fast moving lines and full access to the guests are all hallmarks of the Paradise Con, now entering its third year as a three-day event.
CGC is the official grading service of the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon and will be accepting submissions at the show. "The prestigious CGC Signature Series, as always, will be a big focus of our convention," says Peter Dixon. "We cooperate fully with CGC to ensure that the service will be available to all." There will be a special Signature Series submission booth, which will coordinate the many Signature Series witnesses at the event. As with all comics submitted to CGC by Paradise Comics for Signature Series, Paradise will be making a donation for each book to charities like ACTOR - A Commitment To Our Roots
, and Doctors Without Borders
Last year's show featured Will Eisner as the Guest of Honor. "Everyone here at Paradise was devastated by the news of Will Eisner's death. He was like everyone's favorite grandfather the weekend of the show and I still get calls from the fans who met him last year who want to talk about the impact that their meeting Mr. Eisner had on their lives and careers," said Peter Dixon.
Among the other guests already confirmed (in no particular order) are:
- Dave Sim (Cerebus)
- Jerry Robinson (classic Batman artist and co-creator of many Batman-related characters like the Joker and Robin)
- Alvin Schwartz (writer of Gold and Silver Age DC Comics and strips, creator of Bizarro)
- Jim Cheung (Young Avengers)
- Adi Granov (Iron Man)
- Ty Templeton (Simpsons, Spider-Man/Human Torch)
- Dave Ross (Breakout)
- B. Clay Moore (Hawaiian Dick, the Expatriate, Battle Hymn)
- J. Torres (Love As A Foreign Language, Teen Titans Go, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight)
- Tom Fowler (Green Arrow)
- Jim Craig (classic Marvel artist, What IF?, Spider-Man: The Trial of Venom)
- Tom Grummett (New Thunderbolts, Teen Titans)
- Kaare Andrews (Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus: Year One)
- Phil Jimenez (DC Countdown, Otherworld)
- Francis Manapul (Magdalena/Vampirella, Witchblade, Tomb Raider)
- Stuart Sayger (Shiver in the Dark)
More guest announcements are due shortly. Full list (including Artists Alley) is available at the Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon Web site.
The Paradise Comics Toronto Comicon is also the home of the 1st Annual SHUSTERS - the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards, which will be handed out at a ceremony at the con on Saturday, April 30th.
To receive e-mail updates on the show, visit www.torontocomicon.com
and register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
, or call (416) 487-9807.
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The CGC Collector, a new addition to the CGC newsletter,
will spotlight a different CGC Registry Set and its
owner. If you are interested in being spotlighted as
The CGC Collector, please send a link to your Registry
Set and a small write up with its contents to email@example.com
Hi, my name is Greg Loey and as you can see by looking
registry set; my passion is collecting DC 100-page
giants. However, unlike many others that are reacquiring
books that they owned while they were younger, I don't
recall buying any of these books while I was younger.
However, I did have recollection of seeing some of the
later ones at the corner grocery store.
started collecting comics again in 1989 during the hype
of the first Batman movie. Initially, I mainly collected
Marvels with an emphasis on the Bronze Age keys as well
as a run of Fantastic Four from numbers 39
to 150. However, as I found it more difficult to find
books of my liking, I decided around 1997 to concentrate
on buying bronze DCs that I recalled either seeing on
the stands or in their house ads. With the advent of
eBay and some aggressive local buying, I was finally
able to complete my raw runs of the 100 pagers in 2001
with the purchase of a copy of Young Love 114.
Although I bought a few CGC graded 100 pagers on and
off, I started to become more aggressive in my buying
in the summer of 2002. I started submitting my raw copies
to CGC in July of 2003 and after some initial disappointments,
I finally got a grasp of how CGC tends to treat defects
with 100 pagers. Currently, my registry consists of
around a 50-50 split of books that I submitted myself
and the ones that I purchased from others. Regarding
some favorite finds, the 2003 San Diego convention was
one of the best, as I was able to find my current copy
of Adventure 416 and Batman 238. They
were purchased raw so I was happy with the CGC 9.6 and
9.2 grades that I received for them. These books are
to find, as they are among the earlier issues. The black
cover on the Batman does not help when trying
to find NM or better copies, which obviously, I haven't
Another purchase of a difficult book was the DC
100-Page Super Spectacular 4 CGC 9.4, which has
a classic black cover drawn by Bernie Wrightson. This
book was won at an All-Star auction along with the Our
Army of War 242 CGC 9.0 which is from the Winnipeg
pedigree. This pedigree has been the source of some
many tough issues for me.
Regarding difficult issues to find in high grade, the
romance and horror issues are some of the hardest to
find in nice condition due to the demographics of their
readers. I was able to purchase
my DC 1000 Page Super Spectacular 5 CGC 9.0
in around the mid-1990s for a very aggressive price
at that time. This copy is structurally beautiful with
its only material flaws on the back cover. Another fortunate
purchase by me was a House of Mystery 224 that
eventually graded a CGC 9.6. This proves that you can
get quality raw books on eBay if you buy from known
Currently, my focus is on filling the few holes in my
CGC run but I am becoming more patient with my purchases.
I was buying very aggressively over the last few years
so I can become more selective with the final books
that I need. I have met many great people over the years,
especially through the CGC Forums and some of them have
been very helpful
in assisting me in completing my run. My Tarzan
235 CGC 9.8 is an example of this. When I submitted
my best copy of that book to CGC and got back a sub-par
9.2 grade, I contacted someone who mentioned that he
may have a nice raw copy of that book. That person is
Adam Charalambidis and he did one of the nicest things
by sending me the book for free with no strings attached.
As you can see, this book eventually graded a CGC 9.8
and remains the nicest book that I have personally submitted
to CGC. Another person who has assisted me in presenting
my set with some scans is Brad Hamann, who I also met
through the CGC Forums. He has been very helpful in
reducing my scans to a presentable but allowable size
for the registry.
I would like to end by thanking all the others who have
helped me towards my goal of completing this run.
Demolition Comics Inc, and Demolitioncomics.com are
back on eBay again after an 18-month hiatus. They were
busy creating their multilingual comic book Web site.
"The Web site was so demanding, it required our
undivided attention. We just had to give it all our
focus," says William Insignares, owner and CEO
of Demolition Comics. "Now that our Web site is
finished and on a steady track, we have decided to return
to eBay in a big way," says Insignares. "We
will be marking our return with some wonderful early
Modern and Bronze age very high grade Marvel and DC
CGC certified comics. Many of these comics are the highest
grades ever received for that particular issue. These
are all from the same collection!"
Demolition Comics promises four weeks of auctions in
which they will hope to auction off most, if not all,
of the books from this high grade collection. "We
were so thrilled when William brought us these high
grade books from this fantastic collection," says
Steve Borock, President of CGC, LLC. "I think fans
will be thrilled to have a chance at owning some of
Demolition Comics' eBay seller's ID is demolition_comics.
They are in their second week of auctioning of this
collection. If you would like to see what is available
from Demolition Comics, head over to eBay
|Murder Me Dead
Last month, I announced that "Caffrey Chronicles"
was changing its face. Instead of personal selections,
I am now offering readers a chance to recommend books
for review. Matt Dakan, one of our Modern Pre-Graders,
was the first to present me with a stack of books that
he wanted me to check out for the newsletter. The first
book from the pile that I picked out was "Murder
Me Dead," a trade paperback collection written
and drawn by David Lapham.
"Murder Me Dead" was originally released in
July of 2000 by El Capitan as a nine-issue series. A
crime noir story of Steven Russell, a wealthy Jazz club
owner, and a man married into a wealthy family but an
unhappy marriage, who comes home one night only to find
that his wife Eve had hanged herself. Many people in
Steven's life were aware of the poor relationship he
shared with his wife, and the suspected "suicide"
turns into a murder investigation, with Steven as the
prime suspect, and a large cast of supporting characters
wanting nothing more than to see him go down for it.
What I found most enjoyable about this series was how
David Lapham, who I've previously mentioned in a past
article about "The Darkness," tells a story
with deep character development, bringing an overwhelming
sense of realism with each new face. As each individual
character is introduced, the reader sees Steven's life
become more complicated, tightly woven in a web of lies
and violence. Characters like the beautiful yet mysterious
high school crush Tara Torres, who makes her way back
into his life along with her secretive and dangerous
past, and Sam Fred, a sleazy P.I. hired by Eve's estranged
family, hoping to get the evidence needed to prove that
Eve's death was at the hands of Steven, make the story
a suspenseful read of love, betrayal and murder.
David Lapham, who took a break from the popular "Stray
Bullets" to work on this project, is at his story-telling
best. His art and writing compliment each other, resulting
in an easily read nail-biter. The trade paperback collects
all issues, making this book a non-stop, one-sitting
read. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan
of David's work, a crime fan, or a reader just looking
for something different than the typical super-hero
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Highgradecomics.com Web Site Re-Launches with Many CGC'd Comics
The 2005 selling season starts off with a bang with the re-launch of the Highgradecomics.com Web site.
Working with J2 Interactive (www.j2-interactive.com), our good friend, Bob Storms, is unveiling over 25,000 books online covering multiple genres in high grade, many CGC'd. Powerful new features such as bidding on all books, smoother navigation, special promotions for Web site customers, selling/consignment tools and automatic want-list processing now makes this one of the premier Web sites to visit when looking for high grade material.
For more information on buying high grade CGC'd comics from Bob, visit www.highgradecomics.com.
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Average CGC Grade Analysis from Greg Holland
Using counts from the 12/16/2004 CGC census data, the
average universal grade for each publisher has been
calculated for each year. In each of the graphs, an
attempt was made to identify publishers which spanned
the timeframe selected as
well as being well-represented in regard to total CGC
It is apparent that key issues (such as those from the
Silver Age), which are often submitted regardless of
the condition of the book, will generally lower the
overall average grade due to higher number of mid-to-low
grade submissions in the census. It is possible that
these key issues offer a better estimation of the condition
of all comic books in existence from a particular time
period, while more common issues of the same age are
likely to be submitted to CGC only if their condition
is already regarded as above that of the average copy.
If nothing else, this analysis should offer a better
understanding of books that have been CGC graded to
date, and what book conditions would be above average
or below average to the comic collector who uses CGC.
To do your own CGC Analysis visit Greg Holland's Web
site at: http://www.GregHolland.com/CGC
or chat with him on the CGC Forums, under username Valiantman.
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Heritage Comics Posts Strong Results for First Auction of 2005
Many notable CGC-graded books among the highlights
"This was as strong a sale as we've ever seen,"
said Ed Jaster, Director of Acquisitions for HCA, "with
solid prices realized across the board. I've actually
had consignors calling me raving about their results,
which were, in many cases, far above what anyone expected.
"In comic books, condition continues to rule,"
Jaster continued, "with 9.6s and 9.8s commanding
strong multiples of Guide. For example, an Amazing
#19, CGC graded MT 9.9 with off-white
to white pages from the Northern Lights Collection brought
$20,700, over 33 times Guide. Similarly, an Amazing
#129, featuring the first appearance
of the Punisher, CGC-graded NM/MT 9.8 with White pages,
sold for $9,200, a cool 23 times Guide. It seems that
Spidey still rules the roost, even though the next movie
is still several years away."
Read this article in its entirety
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