Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Patrick Nicolle (1907-1995) was a freelance illustratorwho worked on a number of British periodicals, including The Sun.  Over thee years he drew Robin Hood stories, westerns, historical swashbucklers, air adventure stories, Canadian Mountie stories, and science fiction.

Jak of the Jaguars was a weekly comic that appeared in The Sun.  Jak was a jungle boy who roamed the Amazon with his two jaguars, Tuka and Pika.  He also hooked up with Karina, the beautiful Queen of the Incas.

In the sequence linked below (from The Sun #173-192, 1952), Jack, Karina, and the jaguars find themselves a far distance from their familiar jungle.  Captured by ant-like Martians as zoological specimens, along with other animals, they find themselves caged in a spacehip bound for Mars.  A meteorite strucks the ship, the collision releasing the caged animals and sending the ship plunging into the Martian atmosphere.

Stranded on Mars and armed only with his knife, Jak faces many monstrous creatures to save Karina and the cats.  First there's a giant, octopus-armed, man-eating plant that has grabbed the Inca queen.  Then they jump (literally) into the mouth of a giant dinosaur-ish sea serpent.  Getting away from that, Jak falls into a crevise and into a raging underground stream that brings him to a valley with a giant Martian city.

Yeah, almost everything Martian is giant.

Ther's giant snow birds (with razor-sharp beaks).  There's giant robots, giant bat creatures, giant slug creatures, a giant blind worm, a giant bull-like creature, giant, weird amphibians and get the drift.  There's even a giant magnetic gun.

Any Martian tale worth its salt has to have a number of sentient races.  Here we have the Serflings (the ant-like creatures who have quite a large army), the Droons (cruel humanoids who rule much of the planet), the Branes (giant, egg-headed men), and the Troggs (giant troglodites).

There's the requisite battle in the arena and the escapes and recaptures.   Another spaceship is destroyed, as is a Martian city.

Did I mention the sea of lava?

It's a fast-paced sequence and the artwork is gorgeous.  I'm not sure if Nocolle also did the writing for the strip, but he did a bang-up job on the illustrations.  And no jaguars were harmed in the making of this sequence.



  1. Before I got to the end and saw it was a comic book, I thought it was a novel and was ready to buy it! Rats!

    1. Actually, Richard, it's a story ark from a weekly comic strip, a la PRINCE VALIANT with the text appearing below the artwork.

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