Gorgo and Konga: The Monsters Steve Ditko Made His Own, at Auction

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In theory, the 1961 giant monster movie Gorgo should've had a lot going for it.  It was the brainchild of creator and director Eugène Lourié, who in 1953 had pioneered the 1950s-era monster movie trend with The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. Based on a Ray Bradbury short, the Beast was an atomic radiation-created giant monster film that directly inspired Godzilla the next year.  Lourié would go onto become a critically acclaimed director, production designer, and art director, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects on the 1959 film Krakatoa, East of Java.

Konga (1960) and Gorgo (1961), Charlton Comics.
Konga (1960) and Gorgo (1961), Charlton Comics.

Meanwhile, successful B-movie producer Herman Cohen, fresh off the surprise success of his I Was a Teenage Werewolf (and its follow-up I Was a Teenage Frankenstein) had been looking for another follow-up.  He settled on Konga, sort of a color version of King Kong.  Perhaps Cohen should've stuck with his working title, I Was a Teenage Gorilla, because Konga was underwhelming and poorly received.  As for Gorgo, the film made Lourié swear off the giant monster genre that he had helped pioneer.   And somehow, both Gorgo and Konga are best remembered by fans today because legendary comics creator Steve Ditko worked on the comic book versions of both of them.  There are a number of high-grade Gorgo and Konga comics available in today's 2021 June 13-14 Sunday & Monday Comics, Animation & Art Select Auction #122124 session at Heritage Auctions.

The licensed Charlton Comics versions of both these films, both initially created by Joe Gill and Steve Ditko, manage to transcend their film screenplay inspirations.  According to the book Ditko Monsters: Gorgo from Yoe Books, Ditko would say of Gill's work on Gorgo, "I read the screenplay of Gorgo. From the first reading to this day, I marvel at how well Joe adapted the character to comic books."

The CGC Census has only 22 listings for Gorgo #1, and only 11 of those above CGC 7.5. There are also 22 copies of Konga #1 on the CGC Census, with 6 of those above CGC 8.5. There are a number of high-grade Gorgo and Konga comics available in today's 2021 June 13-14 Sunday & Monday Comics, Animation & Art Select Auction #122124 session at Heritage Auctions.

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About Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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