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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What The Well-Dressed Jungle Boy Will Wear

From the Golden Age of Comic Books comes Wambi The Jungle boy, who appeared in 165 issues of Jungle Comics and 17 issues of his own title.  Wambi, who had the ability to talk to the animals (Just imagine it! Chatting to a chimp in Chimpanzee!) lived in some weird conglomeration of Africa and India. A typical story involved him confronting evil,  getting captured by the bad guys, being put into bondage, and calling on his animal friends to save him.  Nice work if you can get it.  This being the 1940s, Wambi was not at all reticent about killing his enemies.  In one story he straps dynamite to the unconscious body of an evil riverboat captain, uses a tree as a catapult to sling the captain onto his the deck boat, whereupon the dynamite explodes, killing everyone on board.  Wambi's response: (I'm paraphrasing) "Well, they'll never bother us again!"

While most comic book jungle men, and there where a lot of them, where straight-up Tarzan rip-offs, I think that Wambi was more inspired by the movie star Sabu

Sabu had his own short-lived (and not very good) comic book in 1950, and coincidentally (?) he had the exact same costume as Wambi, red loin cloth and red turban. Unfortunately, that's a style that did not catch on.

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