Friday, June 5, 2009

Turok Son of Stone

It's happened. Fifty-five years after issue number one, an enterprising publisher, Dark Horse, has begun The Turok: Son of Stone Archives, with the goal of reprinting, in book format, a good portion of the run of this Dell comic title, Turok, Son of Stone, which drove me insane as a little boy. I was around 5 or 6 when the first issue appeared, and I wasn't allowed to have it. The first volume, containing the first six issues, is available now, with volume two (six more issues), coming in July. Two more volumes, if Amazon's listings are correct, are slated to appear within 2009, bringing the number of issues reprinted up to 24. They could stop there; those 24 contain the cream of Turok.

I first spotted Turok in an ice cream parlor run by an impossibly old woman, who maintained a rack of comics to the side. It was 1954. I was very little, and these being the dwindling days of horror comics, I think my mother was being protective. I got the ice cream but no comic. My mother died years ago, but I'd like to say to her now, "That silly comic I wanted? It was about Indians and dinosaurs."

But two years later she bought me my first Turok. Once she realized the wholesomeness of Turok--Dell was a "safe" line of comics, pledged to non-violence and no sex please--she would relent, and when she felt like it, I'd have my Turok. As the years went by, and with an allowance, I could snag my own copies, but by the time I reached high school and had been reading books for a while, Turok had entered its decadent phase, and I stopped buying it. Strangely, after I started college in the mid-sixties, and Turok was still being issued, my mother would sometimes buy an issue for me, and I'd have to act pleased, but Turok was way past being interesting. He was, in fact, lame. I was going to Fellini movies by then. Turok, Son of Stone would continue its run, under various publishers, until 1980.

Judging by the screen captures above, Dark Horse's reproductions look very accurate, although much brighter than the color had been on the cheap pulpy paper used for comics. Now I can see every issue denied me. I'm in control. I can have what I want. I want Turok. Now.

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