Sunday, 23 September 2012

Tarzan by Kubert

Tarzan, detail from cover to #227 (January 1974)
Art by Joe Kubert

Joe Kubert realised one of his artistic ambitions when he wrote, drew and edited Tarzan for DC. The Edgar Rice Burroughs estate transferred the series from Western Publishing to DC in 1972 and Kubert took complete control of the book.  The first DC issue continued with Western's numbering and commenced with #207 (April 1972).
Tarzan #207 (April 1972)
Art by Joe Kubert
When Editor-in-Chief Carmine Infantino gave Kubert the Tarzan assignment Joe could not have been happier.  Hal Foster's "Tarzan of the Apes" newspaper strip had been one of his major inspirations as a young boy.  Kubert did not disappoint and he produced some of the most vivid illustrations of his career.
Tarzan poster by Joe Kubert
Tarzan by Joe Kubert

I urge you to track down all three volumes of Tarzan The Joe Kubert Years published by Dark Horse, you will not be disappointed.
Tarzan The Joe Kubert Years Volume One

Tarzan The Joe Kubert Years Volume Two

Tarzan The Joe Kubert Years Volume Three


  1. DC's Tarzan ended up selling about half of what the Gold Key/Western version did, and I don't know why. Obviously, it was not a decline in artwork. Kubert was a vast improvement over the artist who succeeded Doug Wildey at Western. Maybe the Gold Key fans didn't like the new version because it was different from what they were used to. Maybe the market was shrinking, and the few fans who were still buying comics wanted only costumed super heroes. DC's price increase didn't help either. Twenty-five cents doesn't seem like much now, but it would be a lot to a kid twelve or younger (and, back then, few kids over twelve read comics).

  2. DC suffered a general drop in sales when they boosted their prices but why fans deserted Tarzan is a mystery.