Thursday, January 23, 2014

Coming Soon: Judy of the Jungle

I'm editing a projected series of three pdf e-books for NUELOW Games reprinting the "Judy of the Jungle" series from 1947 - 1949 issues of Nedor's Exciting Comics. The series is a great example of the Jungle Girl adventure comic genre that thrived during the 1940s; Judy didn't exactly break new ground, but the art and writing has weathered the passage of time better than most of her contemporaries.

You can take a look at the possible covers here. (And while you're visiting the NUELOW Games blog, this post may be of interest if you're a gamer, as it has some RPG rules inspired in part by Judy.

With most of these series, there's invariably a panel or sequence of panels that I notice become funny if taken out of context. With Judy, it's an entire page. The page that introduces her, in fact. But I'm not sure if it's funny or creepy.

First off, Judy seems to be wearing make-up and a cocktail dress... in a hut that she shares with her father in the deepest, darkest African jungle. That's a bit weird--but not as weird as the fact that she wears that dress for most of the series. (It becomes tattered as time goes on.)

But there's nothing weirder (or more disturbing) than the vibe that Panel Three excudes. No wonder Judy's dad thinks he's made a mistake and it's time for his daughter to go somewhere else, where there are other men. (Click on the image of a more readable version, one that will show you that the text does not make the drawing any less skin-crawlingly disturbing as I thought it might when I read it.)

I should say a little about the process by which we select the comics that get revived in NUELOW Games editions -- just because the comment about thinking Panel Three might be less disturbing when I read it might make more sense.

Step One: My partner (L.L Hundal) or I suggest a character or comic strip to the other that we like. The other person takes a quick glance at a couple sample stories --and sometimes even just a couple of pages. At this point, we just look at the art, because when it comes to comics, it the art isn't appealing, you lose readers right then and there. If we agree the art is good, the we put the material on the "Maybe." (In the case of "Judy of the Jungle," the title alone made it a "Maybe" and insured her a place in at least one ROLF! product.

Step Two: I do research to determine that the series in question is in the Public Domain. If there are trademark complications (such as with Black Cat), I make a note of it to make sure Hundal knows to be careful about presentation if I end up not being directly involved in a project for whatever reason when it comes to deciding what title it should be published under. (For example, we will never be able to just do a book called "Black Cat," even if we can publish Black Cat stories and fiction to our heart's content. As can be seen in numerous of our products.

Step Three: I either read the entire series (if it's one of the very short-lived ones that we favor due to their obscurity), or I read the first installment, followed by a random selection of one or two later chapters. If the writing appeals to me, we note the series for future use in one of our comics/rpg projects. (Sometimes, this approach backfires on us. I completely misjudged "Rocket Man" and "Lady Satan" because of this. The art for the most part remains high quality on both strips, but the writing is absolutely horrid on many stories after the first few. For this reason, I'll be writing new "Rocket Man" scripts for future issues of Science Sleuths.)

Step Four: We process the comics pages, assemble books, write new material, edit, publish... and hope that some folks out there think the stuff is as cool as we do.

(And then there's Step Three-Point-Five... where I make posts like this. Hundal doesn't like it when I sometimes poke fun at the comics were:) )

If you've read this far, maybe you'll also like to take a look at NUELOW Games's comics selections. Questions, comments, or reviews -- feel free to leave them here or at DriveThruComics in the comments section.

1 comment:

  1. Judy of the Jungle. She is a pretty obscure character. Judy appeared in Exciting Comics published by Standard Comics. Her first appearance was in #55 and she lasted for 14 issues. She was predated in Exciting Comics by Kara Jungle Princess, but I have never seen the earlier comics or scans of Kara. buy real instagram followers