Aug. 14, 2012 | 5:46 p.m.

‘Sgt. Rock’ artist Joe Kubert had 70 years on the march

Joe Kubert, the comics artist and educator who died Sunday in Morristown, N.J., at age 85,  was never the superstar name — his work didn’t have the necessary bombast or polished edges — but the man who drew ragged, soulful soldiers in “Sgt. Rock,” “G.I. Combat” and “Star-Spangled War Stories” did something his characters would have admired: Kubert marched further and longer than anyone else and proved himself a natural leader. Kubert died of multiple myeloma, according to a family statement, and leaves behind a legacy spread across comic books published in eight different decades and built into the walls of the Kubert School, in Dover, N.J., which was founded in 1976. The school is the nation’s only accredited trade school for comic book artists and its inspiration came from Kubert’s earliest days in the business when he was a pre-teen protegé in a comic book production shop in […]
March 30, 2012 | 12:15 p.m.

‘Tarzan’ memories: Ron Ely says it was a jungle out there

This post has been corrected, as detailed below. Ron Ely followed in the loincloth of famed Tarzan actors as Johnny Weissmuller, Elmo Lincoln, Lex Barker, Gordon Scott and Mike Henry when he took on the role of Edgar Rice Burrough’s jungle hero in the 1966-68 NBC series “Tarzan.” The first season of the series has recently been released on DVD by Warner Archive. At 6’4,” with chiseled features and muscles to spare, Ely’s Tarzan was much closer to Burrough’s original creation, “Tarzan of the Apes,” which first appeared 100 years ago in All-Story magazine before being published as a novel in 1914. Ely’s Tarzan had been raised by the giant apes in the African jungle only to return to the Dark Continent after receiving his education. Though Tarzan still wore a loincloth, there was no Jane in the series. Comic […]
Oct. 14, 2010 | 6:15 p.m.

‘Tarzan and His Mate’ — the ‘Avatar’ of its time?

    As the “voice” of R2-D2 and Wall-E, Oscar-winning sound designer Ben Burtt might be the world’s foremost expert on movie robots, but when it comes to his own cinematic passions, his heart lies in the jungle. His favorite film of all time? “Tarzan and His Mate,” the 1934 film starring Johnny Weissmuller as Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ singular vine swinger. “I realized about 25 or 30 years ago that this film always gets to me right in the heart,” Burtt said. “I love adventure movies and it combines, of course, action and adventure with a really romantic story between Tarzan and Jane and at the end of the movie it all comes together as they give their calls to each other and they ride off on an elephant together. There’s something basic about it.” A new print of “Tarzan […]
Oct. 20, 2009 | 3:00 p.m.

‘Tarzan of the Apes,’ reconsidered on his 97th birthday

It was 97 years ago this month that the Frank Munsey-owned pulp called All-Story Magazine introduced the world to a vivid new character with an especially memorable name: Tarzan of the Apes. A book (one of its many, many editons is shown here at right) followed two years later in 1914. The jungle hero would become an icon and, like Sherlock Holmes or Dracula, he became a persistent figure of interest to film and television producers. In 1918, Elmo Lincoln was the first to portray in him in film but Olympian Johnny Weissmuller, who swung on the vine for 12 films and 16 years, inhabited the character most successfully. Many others followed: Ron Ely was a more erudite Tarzan for 57 episodes of the 1966-1969 television series; the glowering Christopher Lambert took the character back to his feral roots in “Greystoke” in 1984; and Tony Goldwyn gave us […]
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