Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jo-Jo, Congo King in "Mistress of the Apes" (Fox Feature Syndicate; 1948)

Here is a quick golden age history lesson: Fox Feature Syndicate's "Jo-Jo" first got his name from the original title of the comic series in which he starred, Jo-Jo Comics. The publishers decided to change the format of the title, but kept the name for their new adventure hero. Even Jo-Jo's love interest was called Gwenna in her first appearance, and that name was soon replaced with "Tanee" (Gwenna was never mentioned again). The last issue of Jo-Jo, Congo King was #29 (July 1949) and the title was then changed to "My Desire" (a romance comic). Jo-Jo reappeared in 1950, but he was renamed Jungle Jo. That version ran for four issues. Fox Feature Syndicate also declared bankruptcy in 1950, selling off many of its creative assets. Versions of Jo-Jo appeared in comics produced by various publishers. Star Comics reprinted several Jo-Jo stories under the name "Bombo", and Ajax Comics reprinted a single story in 1954 with the character renamed "Kaza." Today's classic tale from Jo-Jo, Congo King #12 (July 1948), is titled "Mistress of the Apes". Ignore the credit for "Stan Ford" (that's a company pseudonym). The artwork is by the great Jack Kamen. 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 publishers and/or the creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!

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