Wednesday, 6 June 2012
Terry Hooper's review of 'Savage! Jungle Princess' from the Comicbits Online blogsite... “On the Saturday afternoon of the Bristol Expo I noticed a rather dodgy looking geezer tucked away behind a pillar. As I tried to walk past he moved forward and opened his jacket to reveal a comic. “Oy, guv'nor -wanna buy somethin' for the weekend, heh? Heh -know what I mean?” followed by a nudge and a wonk. I realised it was 'Spliffy' creator John A. Short. John, of course, did not just write 'Spliffy' but also 'The Clock Strikes!' comic – which like this book can be found on the Kult Creations site. I grudgingly accepted the review book (actually, I'll take anything if it's free.) Later that day, as I tried to relax after hours of chatting I decided I'd read what I thought would be a bit of 'fluff' reading. After tea I read it again. I also read it again at around 0200 hours. So what is this story that so captivated me that I've just read through it for the fifth time and exiled it to a shelf because I don't want to read it again? Well, in June 1940, a German U-boat approaches the unexplored... Death Island. They spot a British vessel and torpedo it. And so Friday Robinson, an 'H-dropper' agent of 'em-eye-five' is cast ashore. And then she meets the dinosaur. It's not on the cover, but believe me there is a dinosaur. So who saves Friday? Why a scantily clad, blond-haired American Arabella Adelaide -the Jungle Princess!! Apart from fighting a dinosaur there are, of course, the Nazi invaders -all female; the Valkyries- led by the one-eyed Countess Karla who are looking for John Dee's Philosophers Stone. They have the, uh, female natives to contend with. Which is all I'm going to tell you about the plot which has enough in-jokes to keep anyone happy. In point of fact this madew me VERY happy which is a bit odd. But it reminded me of being a teenager and waiting up for the late night horror movie (Hammer or otherwise) because someone had mentioned it got a 'bit racey' at some point or you got a flash of flesh. Despite the skimpy underwear (John tells me there is a rubber tree on Death Island from which comes invisible rubber which is used for garment fastening. I believe him. He's a scientist) and the shower scene -did I mention the shower scene?- you don't get to see anything really, naughty 'bit' wise. However, this comic was sheer, unadulterated FUN from cover-to-cover. Gabrielle's art adds that bit extra with some superb colour work -especially the, uh, shower scene. I was recommending it to anyone I met over the weekend -the book having been launched there. I seriously cannot recommend it enough. It's just fun and cheery, often tongue-in-cheek humour and I never expected the UK to come up with a new jungle character after decades and that the character would be so... fun! In a world of grim comics this is a beacon of hope and one of my hopes is that we see more. Why have I hidden the book on a shelf? Because I don't want to read it too much and spoil the fun I'll get when I come across it again. Out of all I saw over the weekend 'Savage! Jungle Princess' is my Expo comic highlight. Really: buy a British comic, but make sure it's this one!!” Kult Creations would like to point out that we didn't slip Terry any money to write this review!