Thursday, January 14, 2010

Camilla, Queen of the Lost Empire (Fiction House; 1940)

Camilla, Queen of the Lost Empire was introduced in Jungle Comics #1 (Jun. 1940) as a knock-off of novelist H. Rider Haggard's 19th century Ayesha, aka "She". For several issues, Camilla was portrayed as the immortal monarch of all she surveyed, which consisted of a kingdom of former Vikings, who had supposedly gotten lost on their way to the Crusades (?). But she eventually started having adventures outside of her lost realm, traipsing around the jungle in a zebra-striped bikini.

Despite this reversal (one among several throughout the features golden age heyday), Camilla enjoyed a long run in Jungle Comics, lasting through until the final issue, #163 (Summer; 1954), which reprinted an earlier Camilla story. The artwork in today's opening chapter is signed by "CAW" (aka Charles A. Winter), the writer is unidentified. I think that I have just about all of the Camilla stories, so you will eventually get to read them in glorious color, and the artwork gets even better as the feature continues.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.


2 comments: said...

I really appreciate the chance to see these scans!

I collect editions of Haggard four novels of Ayesha, in particular seeking those with notable illustrations. Unsurprisingly, I'm also quite interested in comic-book adaptations, and knock-offs such as this, though I don't pursue them aggressively. (The adaptation in New Adventure Comics is out my financial reach!)

c.bren said...

Wow, looks a lot like Fletcher Hanks with that lettering and panel composition. Page 29 especially. Not that I think it actually is.