Tentacle Tuesday: Mam’zelles in Green and Red

Hello, cephalopod aficionados! I have some lovely tentacles for you today, all wrapped around voluptuous women (my favourite kind of cephalopod content, I admit). There is a lot of ‘that kind of thing’ going on in the rivers of the comic kingdom, but most of it, alas, is distinctly ugly. I have accumulated a few covers not suffering from that particular scourge (quite by accident, most of them use a green-and-red palette), and I invite you to enjoy them with me!

The first is a Judge Dredd cover that had somehow previously escaped my attention, despite WOT’s affection for the former and my personal affection for Judge Anderson (lackaday, ill-handled once out of the hands of creator John Wagner and writer Alan Grant – and preferably drawn by Brian Bolland, of course).

Judge Dredd no. 28 (February 1986, Eagle Comics). Cover by Brian Bolland, a Tentacle Tuesday master. Note that in Bolland’s care, she looks like a determined, intelligent woman in full possession of her faculties, as opposed to this sort of nonsense.

The following cover presumably has something to do with DC’s Star Rovers series, which ran between 1961 and 1964, but I wasn’t able to find more about this particular comic, the company that published it (Comax), or the equally mysterious cover artist, Butch Burcham. A comic-savvy friend described the latter as ‘a low rent Frazetta knock-off artist‘. I have no opinion about that part, but I do like this cover and its lushly coloured maiden with her completely impractical suit.

Star Rovers no. 1 (1990, Comax). Cover by Butch Burcham.

Next up a contribution from Dan Brereton, whose work has already been part of several previous Tentacle Tuesdays.

L.E.G.I.O.N. ’92 no. 41 ( July 1992, DC). Cover by Dan Brereton.

In a ‘something completely different‘ vein, I’d much rather get Red Sonja drawn in a very cartoony style, rather than in a ‘realistic’, trying-to-show-boobs-and-ass-simultaneously one. (I dig voluptuous women, but not. ones. with. a. spine. deformation.) For instance…

Red Sonja no. 12 (September 2014, Dynamite). This variant cover is by Stephanie Buscema, an American illustrator specializing in Hallowe’en art.

Finally, we have a surprisingly tasteful (albeit a bit stiff – so would you be, barely perching at the very edge of a chair like that), girl-next-door Vampi cover. And look, she actually has enough space for internal organs! I like that the tentacles seem like a friendly presence, almost guarding her (as opposed to getting a quick grope in). In case you want more Vampirella, head over to Tentacle Tuesday: Warren and Its Many Tentacles, Part II.

Vampirella: Feary Tales no. 3 (December 2014, Dynamite). Variant cover by David Roach.

Pip pip cheerio and toodle-loo, and see you next week!

~ ds

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

Tentacle Tuesday: Inky Black and Snowy White

It’s not every day that Tentacle Tuesday lands on Christmas Eve! I hope you have pleasant plans for the night, if not involving an epic Christmas tree and impeccably-wrapped presents, then at least a lot of booze. In the meantime… I present you with this short and sweet gallery of classy black and white images by some quite well-known illustrators (with one foot, or more, in the comic world, this being, after all, a blog about comics).

BruceTimmSonjaA
Bruce Timm‘s portrayal of Red Sonja. Has he made her into a blonde? It’s possible. Blondes do have more fun… grappling with tentacles.

ArtofNestorRedondo
Illustration from The Art of Nestor Redondo (Auad Books, 2016). I can’t guarantee that these are indeed tentacles, and not sea serpents or something… but hopefully the spirit of festive generosity will ensure my audience forgives me.

Art by Virgil Finlay for the 1949 Memorial Edition of "The Ship of Ishtar" by A. Merritt
Including a Virgil Finlay damsel-with-tentacles in this post isn’t as much of a stretch as one could think – he has done *a few* comic stories, and besides surely influenced more than a generation of cartoonists and illustrators. This is a vision he created for the 1949 memorial edition of Abraham Merritt’s The Ship of Ishtar.

VirgilFinlay-octopus-tentacles
Another Virgil Finlay illustration with adorable octopuses (whose gills make them look rather like mushrooms with tentacles – not unheard of; this link, though awesome, is not for the faint-hearted*).

zak-17-cent-sss«Luxúria no fundo do mar», n.º 7, 15 junho 1976
Zakarella, a comics magazine launched in 1976 in Portugal, mostly re-published choice stories from Warren’s Creepy.  Zakarella herself was the Portuguese version of Vampirella, but considerably more twisted… or, rather, put into some rather fucked up situations and subjected to the perverted sexual whims of monsters from Hell and whatnot. Her stories were drawn by Roussado Pinto (under Ross Pynn) and illustrated by Carlos Alberto Santos. Please visit the blog Almanak Silva for a wittily-written history of Zakarella… or, if you don’t read Italian (personally, I used Google translate), just ogle the images. This is a panel from Luxúria no Fundo do Mar, published in Zakarella no. 7 (June 1976).

~ ds

*The article I linked to also contains this not entirely tentacle-related, but amazing (especially if, at heart, you’re a kid who’s into creepy things) explanation:

Dog Vomit Slime Mold: This creature isn’t technically a plant or a fungus, but it is one of the most fascinating creepy-looking things in nature. “It’s basically a giant amoeba,” Hodge says. “Usually, you can’t see an amoeba with the naked eye. But the dog-vomit is the size of a dessert plate.” She adds that she gets a lot of phone calls about the dog vomit slime mold, which often turns up in people’s garden mulch. “They look weird, and they freak people out.” she says. Even creepier, this huge single-celled blob can crawl. “They ooze around for a while, and then they convert themselves into spores,” Hodge says. “Although it’s not really a spore,” she adds, “because it hatches like an egg and a little amoeba crawls out.” That’s the point when I almost dropped the phone. But Hodge was nonplussed. She teaches a summer course about fungi, and she gives her students slime molds to take home and raise. “You can watch them just cruising around on the petri dish, eating oats.” Some of the students really bond with their slimy little pets, she says: “It’s my campaign to convert people to lovers of stinkhorns and slime molds.”