Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Dinosaurs, Cavemen, and Bows. Oh My.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I was digging through some old comic books this weekend. I don't have many here at the apartment. I got rid of like 10,000 of them when I moved. There's an additional 8,000 or so at my parents house that will eventually have to be dealt with.
Anyway, I kept three comic boxes full, which is about 900 comics. One of those boxes is my Tarzan and related material box. Here are kept my Dell and Gold Key Tarzan comics, my Koraks, Brothers of the Spear, and so forth. But the comic I wanted to mention was Turok, Son of Stone. Now I don't know what early 1960s writer or editor came up with this concept, but he was a genius, let me tell you. Just look at those covers. Indians (aka Native Americans) and DINOSAURS! What red blooded American boy of the 60s-70s could hope to resist such a combination.
The basic concept was simple. Two Indians, Turok and Andar, wander into a valley that time forgot and can't seem to get out. The valley is inhabited by cave men and DINOSAURS. The series follows the two protagonists as they seek a way out of the lost valley and come into conflict with various stone age tribes and DINOSAURS.
I loved these comics when I was a kid, but they were actually pretty hard to come by. Kids today, with their fast cars, hula-hoops, and Comic Specialty Shops, don't realize how hard it was to actually get consectutive issues of any comic book title back in the 70s. The only outlets for comics in rural Georgia were spinner racks at grocery stores and drug stores. Distribution was spotty and it seemed to be especially so for the Gold Key titles. Gold Key was a small company in comparison to the Big Two, Marvel and DC. But they were a classy outfit. All of their adventure titles featured nifty painted covers that made them look more like magazines or kids books than comics. They kept a couple of illustrators very busy for many years churning out all those paintings. Luckily for me Gold Key had a policy against continued stories. All their stories (with a few notable exceptions) were complete in one issue. There was no continuity to speak of so it didn't really matter what issue of Turok you got. When I saw em, I bought em. Did I mention they had DINOSAURS?