Dark Horse Brings 1959 Graphic Novel, Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book, Back Into Print

download (2)Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book: Or, Up from the Apes! (and Right Back Down)—In Which Are Described in Words and Pictures Businessmen, Private Eyes, Cowboys, and Other Heroes All Exhibiting the Progress of Man from the Darkness of the Cave into the Light of Civilization by Means of Television, Wide Screen Movies, the Stone Axe, and Other Useful Arts to give it its full title, is a proto-graphic novel from 1959, along the lines of the Will Eisner's later A Contract With God, with four separate stories in a larger volume…

Kurtzman's longest solo work, this satirical volume was aimed at adults and consisted of 1) Thelonius Violence, Like Private Eye that parodied TV fights scenes set to jazz. 2) The Organization Man In The Gray Flannel Executive Suit about a comic book editor, Goodman Beaver,  who is corrupted by the mentality at the publisher –  a character who would appear again, including his infamous Archie parody. 3) Compulsion On The Range that parodies Western fiction as well as Freudian psychology, looking at the reasons why Western folk acted the way they did. 4) Decadence Degenerated as a man in the Deep South is convicted for murder, due to the fact that he's a reader.

Ex-Mad Publisher Harvey Kurtzman proposed the book to Ballantine after leaving magazines behind him, and who had previously published Mad collections. It was the first such volume to feature original work, and designed for the traditional book size dimensions. It didn't sell and there were no sequels. The book was republished in 1986 by Kitchen Sink with an introduction from Art Spielgman in a deluxe format but has been out of print since.

Well, now it appears that Dark Horse Comics are putting it back in print, listing Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book for December.

A perfect Christmas present. My hints begin now.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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