New Reviews of Old Comics
Here’s another one of those titles I didn’t give two thoughts about during the prime of my collecting days. I was never a big Tarzan fan and this guy, wearing a loin cloth and standing next to a big cat looked way too much like Tarzan for my taste. Since I’m on a kick to try as many off-the-wall (by my definition) comics as I come across, now was as good a time as any to give Ka-Zar a try.
“Nightmare” was written and illustrated by the team of Bruce Jones and Brent Anderson. True to the title almost the entire issue revolves around Ka-Zar (or the equally exotic “Kevin,” as his girlfriend, Shanna calls him) recounting a bad, yet very vivid dream that he had. While the main story itself doesn’t give me a good sense of the series overall I do like the interaction between Ka-Zar/Kevin and Shanna. For being jungle people that are sitting in a cave waiting out a blizzard (yes, I found that to be confusing. There’s a freakin’ blizzard raging outside and they’re walking around in a cave practically naked) I found the dialogue between them to be very human and relatable. The opening page has them arguing about one of Shanna’s past boyfriends who must have made an appearance in their snowy jungle home. They go to sleep and Ka-Zar wakes up in a cold sweat, and spends most of the remaining pages relaying the nightmare, and they wrap up with a little dream analysis. Shanna somehow is a veterinarian, which I guess is a needed skill when you live in a snowy jungle. Another aspect I enjoyed was the modern dialogue. From the cover I expected to read a lot bad “formal” dialogue, like we get in Thor or Conan, the constipated Shakespearian as I like call it and it grows old quickly. If I want to read Shakespeare I’ll open one of the complete works books I have and enjoy Julius Caesar again. Flipping through the issue I just noticed the artist drew a “I NY”on to one of the background rocks in Ka-Zar’s nightmare. I Radio.
I actually enjoyed this issue quite a bit and am going to make a point of finding others to figure out what the heck is going on here. I know there is more to the story than just these two apparently modern people living a primitive lifestyle in a snowy jungle somewhere. Even after one issue I can see this is something that stands out as being totally different from the standard super-hero fare we usually get from the “House of Ideas.” It comes across that the creators are having a lot of fun with their work on this book, which makes it more enjoyable to read.
Notable Ad: Does anyone know what the “Indian Legend” of Tootsie Pops is? I don’t. Honestly I’ve never noticed an Indian on a Tootsie Pop wrapper before, but if the large headed cartoon children in the ad are to be believed there is a degree of mystery surrounding it. One of them thinks it’s for good luck, and the kid with the Tootsie Roll brand towel, pencil case, t-shirt and (oversized) knit hat says he knows, but he ain’t tellin’, Bastard. He does say if you send Tootsie Roll some money and wrappers they’ll send you some gear like his AND the Indian Legend. I don’t know \if the kid is on the up-and-up; he’s sitting on the beach wearing a knit hat, so he’s probably a few cards short of 52. Sadly for me this offer expired on July 4, 1982 so I can’t send away for it and I’ll never know the legend. Maybe it’s on Wikipedia. Hey, the knit hat says “Tootsie Toque” on it!!! Now I really want one. Oh, why can’t someone perfect the time machine?!??!