Friday, 7 August 2015


Image copyright DC COMICS

The preceding 206 issues of TARZAN had been published
by DELL COMICS (1-130) and then GOLD KEY, making DC's
first ish #207 - but, hey - the number 1 in big letters always looks
good on a cover, so this 1972 mag had both sets of numerical
identification on its JOE KUBERT eye-grabbing illo!


TC said...

IIRC, Mark Evanier said on his blog (and/or in his Comics Buyer's Guide column) that Edgar Rice Burroughs Enterprises wanted Western/Gold Key to increase the frequency of Tarzan and Korak, and to publish comics based on John Carter, Pellucidar, and Carson of Venus. When Western couldn't handle the extra load (at least, not without sacrificing quality), ERB Enterprises made a deal with DC.

I've heard that DC's issues sold about half those of Gold Key. If that's true, it's hard to see why. Obviously, there was nothing wrong with the art. And DC was doing new stories. As I recall, GK's Tarzan comic seemed to have gone to all-reprints for some time before they lost the rights.

Maybe the Gold Key fans didn't like it because it was different from what they were used to. I admit that "my" Tarzan (and Korak) had Russ Manning art and painted covers.

DC's price increase to 25 cents, even with extra pages, may have also been a factor. That's pocket change now, but it may have been a lot for pre-adolescent kids ca. 1970. And back then, most comic book buyers were kids twelve and younger.

DeadSpiderEye said...

There's a coincidence for you, I picked this issue a not long ago, reasonable price too, so I was happy. It was pretty gripping so I've been meaning to track the others down,

Rip Jagger said...

This was an earth-shaker for me. I instantly fell in love with Kubert's savage Tarzan, despite my affection for the sleek handsome Manning version from Gold Key. I felt the character in ways that had escaped me before; I grokked Tarzan at last.

Rip Off

Kid said...

DC's Tarzan looked darker and grimmer, and Kubert's art was 'rougher' than that of the Gold Key comics, so that may have been a factor, TC. It just didn't look like Tarzan to Gold Key readers, perhaps. The 25 cents price applied only to the first three issues, so I'm not sure that it would have had a long-term impact on the rest of the series.


I've only got the first 4 DC issues, DSE, which are an adaptation of Tarzan of the Apes, but they're a nice little quartet.


DC's Tarzan strip was visually more realistic, Rip, as opposed to Gold Key's bright, sunny jungles, and noble-looking ape-man. Over at Marvel, Buscema wanted to have him look more like Conan, but wasn't allowed to by the ERB estate.

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