Monday, March 3, 2014

My Heroine Addiction : Cave Girl

For most of the Golden Age there was a subgenre of comics that was dependable and commercial; jungle tales. Damned near every publisher had a strip that featured a white jungle lord or princess. To share any of this stuff we need to face the basic fact that these works are fundamentally racist. In almost every case the Caucasian lead is superior to the dark skinned native population. Typically the lead is fair and just whereas the aboriginals are cruel and savage. Now if were can admit this sin and judge the tales solely on the quality of the narrative and the art, then some features were better than the rest. One of these, in my opinion, was the Magazine Enterprises comic CAVE GIRL.

The feature ran for four issues beginning in 1953 as a kind of companion book to THUNDA. The latter title was a heavily Burroughs influenced strip that was co-created by Gardner Fox and Frank Frazetta. 

Frank only did the first issue and then the art chores were given to the talented veteran, Bob Powell. Powell had been a co-creator of the queen of the female jungle characters, Sheena. His chores on Thunda combined with his long stint on Sheena made Powell the obvious choice to guide the new strip. Like Thunda, Cave Girl was highly informed by the work of ERB. She was a feral child just as Tarzan was and was in confrontation with Neanderthal beings similar to those populated in Burroughs fiction. Here then is the initial story from issue 11, which despite the numbering was the debut book.


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