Tentacle Tuesday Masters: Joe Kubert

As Tentacle Tuesday lazily unfurls its slimy appendages yet again, we come face-to-face with one of the comic greats, Joe Kubert. And, as luck would have it, his ability to draw pretty much anything extends to depictions of cephalopods.

Page from “It Was a Dark and Heavy Night…”, published in Heavy Metal Special Edition Vol. 11, no. 2 – 20 Years (January 1997).

I’m less engrossed with Kubert’s work on prehistoric cavemen, archetypical feral youngsters or troglodyte adventurers (my interests lie more in the direction of Enemy Ace or Unknown Soldier, as well as Kubert’s solo projects like Abraham Stone). Nevertheless, Korak, his father Tarzan, and the unrelated Tor have all encountered tentacles in their eventful careers of dinosaur skirmishes and vine-swinging. (I also have to admit that if anybody could make me inquisitive about this sort of thing, it would be Kubert. I may yet reconsider, especially in the case of Tor, a comic Kubert both drew and plotted.)

Page from Tor no. 3 (May 1954). Read the whole issue here. The adorable monkey Tor is talking to is Chee Chee, his pet gibbon.
See Korak wrestle tentacles on this aquatic Joe Kubert cover! Korak (the ape name for “Killer”) was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs for his Tarzan novels. (Korak was the hero of The Son of Tarzan from 1915; in other novels he was but a young boy, incidental to the plot). This is Korak, Son of Tarzan no. 54 (October-November 1973). This issue has Robert Kanigher and Murphy Anderson on the main story.

It’s not only prehistoric men who have to put up with tentacles – Scandinavian royalty has to deal with them, too.

The Brave and the Bold no. 24 (June-July 1959). The main two stories, “The Trail of the Black Falcon” and “Curse of the Dragon’s Moon”, both scripted by Bob Haney and drawn by Kubert, are frankly silly.

Moving into a slightly different direction….

Mystery in Space no. 115 (January 1981). In a Kubert illustration, even monsters have soulful, anguished eyes.
Weird War Tales no. 77 (1979). Do all three dooms involve tentacles, by any chance?
Kubert’s tribute to Arzach, a comic series by Mœbius. Interesting to see Kubert sort-of imitating someone else’s style – however, the feet, hands and tentacles are obviously his.

~ ds

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