Tag: Tarzan

In Stores This Week

Two new books on shelves this week (to go along with last week’s Magdalena Vol. 2 trade paperback collection). First up is Artifacts #19 from Top Cow/Image, which kicks off a new storyline, featuring an Artifacts bearer we’ve met before, albeit briefly. Dr. Rachel Harrison appeared in issue #14, finding a corpse that was ultimately traced to a gangland execution, Jackie Estacado style.

In issue #19, Rachel takes center stage, setting up her life as an emergency-room doctor, and now bearer of the Heart Stone. The three-issue arc will take Rachel to some unexpected places, and bring her face to face with Tom Judge once again. Art is my Stjepan Sejic, as usual, and you can see a preview here:

My other work out this week is the introduction I wrote for Tarzan: The Jesse Marsh Years Vol. 11 from Dark Horse. I suppose my love for Tarzan is no secret at this point, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to wax poetic about one of my favorite characters ever in the intro. I’d work on a Tarzan comic in a heartbeat.

Of course, I don’t think anybody’s crazy enough to shell out 50 bucks just to read my intro. This volume contains a big chunk of Marsh’s simply powerful and powerfully simple Tarzan work. Plus, the cover has Tarzan fighting a shark. A shark! A preview of the interiors, though not my intro, can be found here:



Tarzan in color

Here’s an update in the earlier post featuring the Sunday page-style script I wrote for Tom Grindberg. Here’s Tom’s color version of the piece (at least a photo of it, rather than an actual scan). I’d like to slap some words on the page, but with the deadline load I’m supporting right now – barely – it’s going to be a while before I have any free time for something like that.

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click here for hires



Everyday is like Sunday

No secret I’m a big Tarzan fan, right? Love Tarzan, love John Carter of Mars, would love to write those characters. So when my old artistic collaborator Tom Grindberg got in touch a few months ago, wondering if I would script a few Tarzan Sunday- type pages, I of course said yes.

Tom worked with me on issues of Silver Surfer, Green LanternSecret Defenders (yikes!) and a Thor Annual (which is the only issue of my unfortunate Thor run I can even bear to look at). Tom and I were actually supposed to take over Thor as the regular team for my second year on the book. Tom came up and stayed at our house for a summer weekend. We worked out a year of storylines, and Tom generated a bunch of sketches and a new logo. I was looking forward to it a great deal. But the editor couldn’t decide what direction he wanted, flip-flopping between “put him in space” and “put him on Earth” and “put him in Asgard.” When another (and in my opinion, lesser) artist was assigned to the title, I decided it was time for me to go, rather than try to make lemonade out of lemons. In some future posts, I’ll show off Tom’s many designs for what we had planned on Thor.

Move mouse over image to zoom the portion
Zoomed Image

The Tarzan pages I wrote for Tom were really meant as a showcase for his talents. What you see above is the first of two pages, imagined in Sunday-style strip, rather than traditional comic pages. My script is below, sans any narrative captions, which I figured I could add if the pages ever got printed somewhere. The reproduction here isn’t great, but you can at least roll over the art for a more detailed look. Really beautiful work by Tom, and I love that he hand-lettered that wonderful, distinctive Tarzan logo.

Hope this isn’t as close as I come to writing Tarzan again. But if it is, I’m pretty satisfied with the results. I’ll run the following page whenever Tom finishes it.





PANEL 1: We start off with a shot that sets our scene. This is an expansive shot showing the beauty of the African landscape. We’re looking at a river’s edge, where numerous animals are drinking on the shore: antelope, zebras, African elephants, a few giraffes stand nearby. It’s the quintessential scene of Africa.

PANEL 2: Suddenly, the water’s surface is violently broken by Tarzan and a huge crocodile engaged in a death struggle. Tarzan has his knife in hand, trying to bring it to bear, while his other arm tries to hold the jaws of the croc shut. The animals that had been drinking are spooked at this sudden violence. Make this a large panel.

PANEL 3: Our angle here is underwater as the savage battle continues. Tarzan and the croc are underwater, the croc trying to death roll while Tarzan plunges his knife into the creature.

PANEL 4: Our angle is still underwater. The dead croc is drifting away in the water, a streamer of blood floating from it through the water. Bloodied and exhausted, Tarzan is swimming away. Maybe angle this so that Tarzan is swimming toward us, giving us a good look at him, while the croc drafts away.

PANEL 5: The exhausted Tarzan crawls onto the river bank. However, waiting there for him are four or five of the brutish warriors from Opar, their spears all pointed toward Tarzan. The exhausted Tarzan is in no shape to fight them. These are not traditional African tribesmen, as far as I remember, but more like brutish beast-men. Some background:

Black And White – The Ghost Who Walks

The last Indiana Jones post got me in a pulp kind of a mood. I’ve always liked pulp-style characters – and Indy is most certainly a pulp character, regardless of his “date of birth” – from originals like the Shadow to Doc Savage, to modern interpretations like the Rocketeer. I’m very intrigued by DC’s First Wave books, even if the results have been somewhat uneven.

The Phantom, created by Lee Falk, made his debut as a comic strip, rather than in a true pulp. But he’s a pulp character in every other way. The Phantom was pretty high on my list of characters I wanted to write at least once. Happily, I’ve been able to get to a number of them: the Phantom, Hellboy, Tarzan, Red Sonja.

I was able to scratch my Phantom itch via Moonstone, which held the license before its recent move to Dynamite, by talking them into a Phantom Annual (the first ever, apparently). It was a generational story told in chapters, each chapter starring a Phantom of a different era. I pulled in a number of my writer friends, including Chuck Dixon, Tony Bedard and Mike Bullock, to pen chapters. On the art side, I collaborated with my sculptor/artist/animator buddy Ruben Procopio on the first chapter, recounting that era’s Phantom facing down the pirates of the Singh Brotherhood.

Ruben contributed a very Toth-inspired black-and-white variant cover (pictured above), while inker Terry Austin talked his pal Bret Blevins into penciling the main cover (pictured at the top of the post). I had a notion that we should have a simple back cover image, and Lee Moder stepped up to contribute this great shot (pictured below) of the Phantom and Devil, which was then inked by Terry Austin. But for whatever reason, Moonstone decided it wasn’t a suitable image, and it went unused. It’s appearing here for the first time ever, as far as I know. Shame it never got used. But who knows … maybe we’ll find a place for it sometime.


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