Lord Of The Jungle: The Best Tarzan Comics Art Ever
Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, has been around for over a century, with the latest of his 200+ movies, The Legend of Tarzan, hitting theatres this past weekend. Tarzan's swung through just about every storytelling medium you can think of from TV to radio to animation --- remember when America gave Phil Collins an Oscar? --- and, of course, comics.
The first Tarzan daily newspaper strip ran on January 7, 1929 illustrated by Hal Foster. A Sunday strip with a different storyline began two years later, drawn by Rex Maxon. Both strips ran for decades with the Sunday strip still being published today (albeit in rerun form).
As comic books became more popular, the jungle king was there too. Over the decades, publishers from DC to Marvel to Dark Horse have taken turns telling Tarzan's stories, and a host of legendary artists including Joe Kubert, John Buscema, and Russ Manning have lent their talents to showing Lord Greystoke swinging through the trees. There are even official Tarzan webcomics.
The character has fallen out of favor in recent, years because he's nearly impossible to disentangle from a history of colonialist narratives, racist stereotypes, and white savior tropes. As problematic as he is today, his status as one of the defining heroes of the pulp genre means he's the subject of some extraordinary comics art. We've compiled some of the best Tarzan art we could find, to give you a sense of the long comic book history of the jungle king.