If I learned one thing from reading TitanBook’s reprinting of artist Burne Hogarth’s Tarzan series (which ran weekly for 12 years), it’s that the African jungles are lousy with nefarious hunters, deadly beasts, savage tribesman, and hot women.
Most of us familiar with Edgar Rice Burrough’s noble savage ape-man recognize his human gal-pal Jane, but here, in this gorgeously illustrated and well-crafted tales, Tarzan is the Lothario of the jungle beat.
In most cases, Tarzan works as an intermediary between the cruelty of the civilized world and the violently defensiveness of Africa. But in every case, there is a princess, a hunter or prospector’s daughter, or a lion-tough Amazon warrior, ready to become swept up in Tarzan’s mighty arms. But there’s never any kissy-face. Remember that this is a family strip.
Instead, Hogarth and writer Don Garden build adventure on adventure never relenting from the action and, like Tarzan, swinging from one predicament to the next. Ignoring the socio-political arguments of Tarzan’s Brit-gone-wild savior of the African planes colonialist wet dream, these stories are a ton of fun. It’s easy to see why an America reeling from The Great Depression would love this escapist fantasy. Here is the son of nobility turning his back on the outside world to live a live free and, at the same time, working to bridge cross-cultural gaps. In every few pages Tarzan raises animal armies to fight advancing invaders, mediate conflicts between tribes, and fights to keep peace in his land. Or at least long enough so he can get a night’s rest.
TitanBooks once again provide gorgeous reprints and color enhancements. The text is clear and the lines are tight.