Tentacle Tuesday: Pirates and Treasure, oh my

Where there be pirates, there be treasure; where there be treasure, there be a displeased octopus, irritable after being roused by some foolish fortune-hunter. I’d like to dedicate this Tentacle Tuesday to the murderous marauders who, in bold search for immeasurable treasure, have to tackle tentacles (and survive, hopefully).

Weird Terror no. 2, November 1952. Cover by H.C. Kiefer. Note the dead pirate’s hook embedded in the diver’s shoulder, while the former’s other hand is severing his umbilical cable…  I think the octopus is the least of this treasure-hunter’s worries.  By Weird Terror standards, this cover is actually pretty tame; this green octopus is not responsible for Fredric Wertham‘s nightmares.

Any octopus action inside, you may ask? Just two panels.

AAAGH-BLUB! Panels from « Wrath of Satan », pencilled by John Belcastro and inked by Joe Galotti.


I never thought I’d be posting something Garfield-related, but in Roger Langridge‘s hands, even the insipid orange cat acquires some charm.

A panel from « Pirate Cat », written by Scott Nickel and illustrated+lettered by Roger Langridge, published in Garfield no. 34: His 9 Lives Part 2, (KaBOOM!, February 2015).

Melvin the Menacing Sea Monster isn’t just a pretty eye; he’s got at least one excellent pitching arm, too.


All this proves is that there’s a simple solution to an inane plot and pedestrian characters: hire Langridge to illustrate your story, and it will magically transform into a fun yarn.


Our next selection doesn’t technically feature pirates, but it features sailors, Spanish smugglers, swindlers and cheats, as well an epic battle with an octopus and stolen treasure buried at the bottom of the sea, so it damn well qualifies.

Classics Illustrated no. 56, February 1949; cover by August M. Froelich. For one thing, I never knew Victor Hugo had written anything squid-related. As it turns out, Toilers of the Sea (French: Les travailleurs de la mer) is a novel from 1866. How educational! Classics Illustrated was created by Russian-born Albert Kanter (1897-1973), who wanted to use the power of comics to introduce young readers to “great literature” that they might not otherwise have deigned to read. “Classic Comics” began publication in 1941, with the name of the series changed to “Classics Illustrated” in 1947. The series lasted until 1971 for a total of 169 issues; various other companies reprinted its titles. I don’t know whether this series really made a difference in the edification of youth, but many of its issues are highly collectible, anyway.


As a little bonus, here’s a cover that’s somewhat lacking in swashbucklers, but boasts some decent treasure and (quintessential ingredient) some tentacles.

If Rex the Wonder Dog (created by Robert Kanigher and Alex Toth) can ride horses, show off as an expert bullfighter, use cameras, defeat a Tyrannosaurus Rex and swing on ropes (among his many other accomplishments), I don’t see why he wouldn’t be able to effortlessly fend off some pink tentacles. This is The Adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog no. 42 (Nov.-Dec. 1958). The cover is by Gil Kane on pencils, Bernard Sachs on inks, and Jack Adler on tones and colours.

~ ds

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