Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Volume Four, Number Nine

There have been a heck of a lot of short-run comics series since the 1930s. Some of them really stand out in the minds of comics fans-"Brother Power, The Geek", the original run of "The New Gods", "It, The Colossus" and, believe it or not, "Night Nurse" just to name a few-while others quickly faded from the minds of everyone...and for darn good reasons, too. DELL's 1960s "Dracula", "Frankenstein" and "Werewolf" immediately come to mind.

For me there is one comic series that came out in the 1970s that I loved at the time and love to this day. It is/was "Rima The Jungle Girl".

Published by DC Comics it was written by Robert Kanigher with art by the very talented Filipino Nestor Redondo and ran for seven issues from May 1974 to May 1975 (cover dates).

Now I am embarrassed to admit this today but at the time "Rima The Jungle Girl" came out I was first attracted to it as the title character had the same colour hair as Sharon Thompson, my first serious public school crush from many years earlier.

There was of course much more the comic than that and I realized it very quickly as I began reading the first issue. "Rima The Jungle Girl" was actually a comic book adaptation of the 1904 novel by W.H. Hudson called "Green Mansions: Romance of The Tropical Forest". Hudson was an Argentine-British writer and ecologist who not only wrote a whole bunch of really great books doing his career but did a lot of important ecological work in South America. CBC Radio-1 did an excellent overview of his exploits a couple of years back on its IDEAS program.

Hudson based Rima on a South American legend about a lost tribe of white people who lived in the mountains. The novel itself is an accurate portrayal for the most part of South America and it also has some excellent ecological messages in a time when such things were not in vogue.

The DC comic was not the first adaptation of Hudson's novel. CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED did one in 1951-which was reprinted numerous times before the company went out of business-and Rima herself has appeared in AMERICA'S BEST COMICS' "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" Vol. 2 No. 3.

Rima has also appeared in three episodes of THE ALL NEW ADVENTURES OF THE SUPER FRIENDS (the 1977-1978 season) plus in 1959 MGM made a movie very loosely based on Hudson's novel called THE GREEN MANSIONS (starring Audrey Hepburn as Rima).

"Rima The Jungle Girl" still stands out in my mind to this very day as one of the better short-lived comics titles. I'd recommend if you see it in the comics bargain bin to pick up all seven issues. But read the book first. You won't regret it.

Take care and be safe.

1 comment:

comicgrl24 said...

I remember this series fondly and collected all the issues way back in the day. Probably still have them all -- somewhere.