Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, May 17, 2014


The latest incarnation of Godzilla brings to mind (my mind, at least) a slew of "let's forget physics and give 'em giant monster" movies, including 1960's giant ape movie Konga.  My first awareness of Konga was from the cheesy Monarch paperback tie-in by "Dean Owen"  (Dudley Dean McGaughey)with its classic cover of a pneumatic Claire Gordon and a leering Konga.  The film itself, a classic of its kind, was coproduced by British company Anglo Amalgamated and American International Pictures.  Directed by John Lemont and written by Herman Cohen and Aben Kandel, it starred Michael Gough, Margo Johns, and Jess Conrad, along with the aforementioned pneumatic assets of Ms. Gordon.

As with many films of the time, a comic book version was produced.  Charlton Comics used the talents of a pre-Spiderman Steve Ditko to draw it in June of 1960, long before its 1961 American premier:

The comic and the movie both proved popular.  This put Charlton in a bind.  They wanted to continue with a Konga  comic book series but [SPOILER ALERT!] they had killed off the giant ape [END OF SPOILER ALERT!].  What to do?  What to do?  In the second issue of the comic (August 1961 -- more than a year after the first issue), they introduced a second cash-cow, um, giant ape named Konga, one that would fight giant prehistoric monsters and have a thing for pretty girls:

Konga continued as a comic book through 1965 with 23 issues.  A 24th issue was retitled Giant Monsters then the comic book went the way of the first Konga.

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