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365 Reasons to Love Comics #93

It’s finally here… the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the next epic event in the ongoing 365 Reasons to Love Comics saga… a month-long odyssey into everyone’s favorite aspect of comics culture…

That’s right. This year, April is Ape-ril on Comics Should Be Good!

4/3/07

93. Gorilla covers

Gorilla 1.jpg

In honor of our month-long look at apes in comics, let’s investigate how the trend got started, and showcase the majesty of the gorilla cover. The issue of Strange Adventures you see above, #8, is the one that started it all. Legend has it that sales took a bizarre upswing with this issue, and editors figured it must have had something to do with the gorilla-centric cover. Hence, gorillas began to spring up all over DC publications, and Irwin Donenfeld reportedly had to limit the company to one ape cover per month.

This spawned a wonderful, ridiculously awesome trend that has provided fans, readers, and blogger with endless entertainment. There are so many great gorilla covers, I just didn’t know which ones to present. So, following are some of my personal favorite gorilla covers which we have not yet seen in this column. I already told you about the Jimmy Olsen one I love so dearly, and you’ve surely all cowered at the might of the octi-ape.

Onwards!

Gorilla 5.jpg

As a gigantic nerd, I’m no fan of sports. But if this kind of thing actually happened in the world of baseball, I’d probably be watching it on ESPN.

Gorilla 4.jpg

Another weird belief in the Silver Age was that covers featuring the color purple (no, not that The Color Purple) sold like hotcakes as well. Naturally, purple gorillas must be sales bonanzas. So much so that King Colosso appeared on three different Tomahawk covers.

Gorilla 3.jpg

“Would you dare defy… the Primate Platoon???” Hell no, you wouldn’t! Nazis gorillas. Nazi gorillas. Whoever came up with this was a genius.

Gorilla 6.jpg

Strange Adventures had a lot of gorilla covers, but this one may be the best. In fact, it may be the perfect comic book cover. Talking gorilla? Check. Purple? Check. Go-go-checks? Go-go-check! Those twelve cents would’ve flown out of my hands. This one’s so good, in fact, that the Gorilla Witch became a bit of a mascot for Dial B for Blog. Follow the link to read the cover story in its entirety.

Gorilla 7.jpg

Joe Kubert drawing a gorilla firing an automatic weapon. That, my friends, is a little glimpse of heaven.

Gorilla 8.jpg

With a title like that, you can’t go wrong. Want more? Scott Shaw! gives you more at Oddball Comics. The Invincible Super-Blog declares it the greatest comic ever printed.

Dear readers, I’ve given you but a snippet of the wonderful madness that lies in the realm of gorilla comics, but fear not! More is forthcoming. Also, I have links. For more on the gorilla comics craze, check out The Gorilla Age of Comics. For a showcase of DC Ape covers, especially superhero-related ones, check out Dial B for Blog. For cool ape-related bits of comics covers and panels, with added snark, hit up Superdickery‘s “Monkey” section.

But, for the coolest link of all, visit the Gorilla Cover Gallery, a gigantic assemblage of hundreds of brilliant gorilla covers. There’s so much awesome contained within that website, your brain may explode from joy.

If you survive that, meet me back on this site tomorrow for further gorillamania!

13 Comments

Awesome! Now I get to celebrates Apes two months out of the year!

Not only is there Ape-ril, but there’s still Apes Month every January at USENET newsgroup rec.arts.comics.creative.

(Plug, plug)

Oh, man. As the host of a college radio show called “Gorilla City”, Ape-ril excites me to no end. This is the greatest theme month I could possibly imagine. Do we get a full 30 days of Ape-ril?

Can’t wait for Grodd, Solovar, Bobo, Beppo, Mallah, Titano, Ultra-Humanite or anyone else who is a lower primate appearing in comic books.

Oh man….

This rules.

To achieve total awesomeness this month would have to include the House of Kong from Nikolai Dante. Fingers crossed.

Ape MONTH? Good god… I don’t think I can stand it, I just can’t trust all those damn dirty apes.

I might get a little sick of monkeys.

But not if I get to see Jimmy Olsen being married to a gorilla by Superman.

I am so here for this.
SO here.

SanctumSanctorumComix

April 4, 2007 at 9:34 am

I’m glad you thought of the children (in all of us).

If this were a DC mandated direction, it MIGHT have been:

RAPE-ril.

So, besides Beppo the Super-Monkey, The RED GHOST’s Super-Apes, and the whole furry 4-color crew, don’t forget to add

BLIP.
The monkey from SPACE GHOST cartoon.
That primate saved their collective asses more times than I can count (so…I’m bad at math).

And if the MONKEES had a comic to tie in to their TV show, that wouldn’t be bad either.

;-)

~P~
P-TOR

I believe that the Nazi gorillas were created by the same mad scientists who also brought us the underwater Nazi zombies…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_Waves

I always laugh at the quote on the DVD package: “The best of the Nazi zombie movies.” I didn’t even realize that was an existing subgenre.

Mind you, now I want to see some underwater Nazi zombie gorillas. Best of both worlds :)

Ben H

I want to see Brainiape from Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon. Come on, he’s a telepathic gorilla crimelord with Hitler’s brain! What’s not to like?

The best part is that the Primate Platoon has finally reappeared in the current Dr. 13 backup feature in Tales of the Unexpected.

I can’t believe nobody’s mentioned the Weeping Gorilla. Definately my favorite Alan Moore created ape character.

“Why do good things happen to bad people?”

Hmm…

DC and gorillas… yet no mention of Grodd?!?

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