Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Art of Reading: "Pantha and the Golden Idol" (Standard;1948)

Today I'm debuting a new, semi-regular feature here in the Catacombs called The Art of Reading. Golden age comics typically included short stories, usually accompanied by a panel or two of artwork in order to qualify for magazine mailing rates. These two page filler tales served their purpose well enough, but in the absence of any eye-appealing art (as was often the case), I doubt that many kids gave them the time of day.

"Pantha and the Golden Idol" is from Thrilling Comics #68 (Oct.1948); originally published by the house of many names: Better/Standard/Nedor/Pines. The script is credited to Charles S. Strong and the pair of terrific panels are illustrated by Art Saaf. Princess Pantha decides to investigate the reasons why white men are presenting a golden statue to her friends of the M'Tongo tribe. This classic short tale was previously reprinted in AC Comics Men of Mystery Comics #69 (1999 series), but I believe that was a black & white book. Here you get to enjoy Art Saaf's lovely line work in glorious full-color (as it really should be seen). The bonus painted front cover is by the legendary Alex Schomburg. 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 the creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!


HEH said...

I love the two illustrations. Quite nice.

Chuck Wells said...

The Art Saaf artwork on that title page really grabbed me and thus served as the inspiration for this new feature. Honestly, as I've culled golden age jungle comics stories from the files for the past few years, I've come across many of these two page filler tales. Not all include art panels, but enough do to flesh out this kind of post from time to time, so I'm glad you liked it!

Art's son also visits the Catacombs occasionally, and it's always nice for me to highlight some of the classic work that his talented father produced.