Tentacle Tuesday: Grabbery Through the Ages

It occurs to me that I haven’t focused on the good old mademoiselle-embraced-by-tentacles cliché in a while. If today has a further theme, it’s of women (both human and alien) being grabbed by the midriff. Polka-dotted tentacles in a swamp and furry tentacles on Venus, whether they’re latching on to a humanoid woman with four breasts or a blue-skinned Talokian, all basically behave the same way.

As usual, this is a chronological progression that takes us from early Golden Age days all the way to mid flamboyant 80s.

The Robot Masters of Venus, illustrated by Max Plaisted (of Spicy Mystery fame!), was published in Exciting Comics v. 1 no. 3 (June 1940, Pines).
The Vengeance of the Space Monster!, pencilled by Ken Bald and inked by Syd Shores (both names are, however, guesses), was published in Marvel Mystery Comics no. 90 (February 1949, Atlas).

I agree that having one’s ribcage crushed does not help with breathing, but still, I am not sure why Shadow Lass is choking on the panel on the right when the vege-demon has her by the midriff.

War of the Wraith-Mates!, scripted by Cary Bates, pencilled by George Tuska and inked by Vince Colletta, was published in Superboy no. 183 (May 1972, DC).

For a little variety, I’m also including the following warrior vixen as a pleasant exception to the rule – she is not only not being grabbed, but also has an octopus for an obedient pet.

Girl on Octopus by Brian Lewis, painted sometime in the mid 1970s.

Our next stop is a proposed illustration for the 1984 movie The Warrior and the Sorceress, painted by Bob Larkin. The movie in question (which I have never seen) is apparently “noted chiefly for containing extensive nudity and violence and for being one of the more extreme examples of the sword-and-sorcery genre. It is also considered by some to be a cult classic.

The sorceress has 4 breasts – a logistical nightmare when selecting a bikini, no doubt.

As… questionable… as this is, the illustration that was chosen in the end is in a whole other class of cheesiness. The sorceress has also died her hair blonde, presumably because she wants to have (even more) fun! We also lost the cephalopod, unfortunately, but the maxim “one can’t have everything” comes to mind – and David Carradine in a pearly loincloth is plenty.

Art by Joanne Daley, who at least makes some sort of attempt at designing a functional four-breast-bra.

After *that*, the following cover looks quite humdrum by comparison. It’s difficult to imagine how Red Sonja will extricate herself from this situation…

Red Sonja no. 5 (January 1985, Marvel). The cover is by Pat Broderick.

Incidentally, there are tons of Red Sonja cover with tentacles, mostly of recent vintage, and most of them are ugly as sin. This one is decent:

The cover art for Red Sonja no. 21 (April 2007, Dynamite). This is a variant cover by Roberto Castro.

✭ ds

Hallowe’en Countdown, Day 11

« Geez! What’s he been feedin’ that horse?! I’m runnin’ wide-open — and he’s gainin’ on me! »

I won’t pretend that The Headless Horseman Rides Again is all that good a comic book, even by the standards of 1973 Marvel. It’s a clumsy narrative hodgepodge, a tangle of tough guy private dick clichés and your basic Scooby Doo plot, courtesy of Gary Friedrich (Ghost Rider, Son of Satan). But it’s agreeably moody in spots, considerably helped along by a solid art job by the prolific George Tuska (1916-2009), who’s not, for once at Marvel, saddled (ha!) with the likes of Vince Colletta. Here he’s smartly matched with the fine but generally undervalued Jack Abel (1927-1996), whose velvety strokes significantly add to the fittingly nocturnal ambiance.

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I happen to own a page of original art from the issue, and here are some of my favourite panels. This is page 7 of 20. Script by Gary Friedrich, pencils by George Tuska, inks by Jack Abel. Love that Abel smoke!

The issue bears your typical hyperkinetic Gil Kane 70s cover, winningly inked by Ernie Chua/Chan. This is Supernatural Thrillers no. 6 (Nov. 1973, Marvel).

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The published version…

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… and a peek at the original artwork. Note the absence of the alterations presumably made on an overlay, namely the texture on the foreground rock and the halftone mist across the middle.

– RG