Thursday, November 23, 2006

Brothers of the Spear

Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Brothers of the Spear: " BROTHERS OF THE SPEAR
Medium: Comic books
Published by: Dell Comics
First Appeared: 1951
Creators: Gaylord DuBois (writer) and Jesse Marsh (artist)

These days, stories in which black and white adventurers treat each other as equals are such a familiar sight, they're scarcely even noticed. But a half-century ago, they were quite rare. The first such series in American …


David Porta said...

That's nice artwork by Jesse Santos, from the 1970s series. Jesse Marsh was the original artist on the series when it debuted as a back-up feature in Tarzan. Russ Manning took over the art chores, and was identified with the series for years.

Yes, this was the first comics series I know of in which a white man and a black man (the co-protagonists), were on equal footing. This was daring, for its day.

wourpet said...

Thanks David, The artwork is indeed by Jesse Santos and I should have commented on that fact, especially since the layout has Jesse Marsh's name appearing directly under the pic.

Anonymous said...

I, too, enjoyed the Brother of the Spear series. When growing up, I read of the stories done by Russ Manning, and really found the series interesting. Its only be recently that I got their stand-alone comic (with art by Santos and later Dan Spiegle). FWIW, I did the wikipedia article on BotS.


Albie The Good said...

I have to stop and thank you for this blog. I love BROTHERS OF THE SPEAR!!

To give you some background, I was born in 1964, the youngest of 7 children in a very rural area. I grew up reading comics of all kinds but I had a lot of Dell and Gold Key comics [both new and handed down] because those were the kind my Christian parents preferred [along with the "Christian Archies" and the CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED o'course... lol]

Anyway, as a result I am still extremely fond of the "Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Disney" kind of "wholesome" comics I grew up on.

In fact, I now actually believe these comics are very under-rated... I mean, they really were often extremely well-plotted and intelligent stories of actual adventure, as opposed to simple violent fantasies featuring men in tights and masks. [Plus, you can collect 'em for your own kids at a reasonable price too!]

And now, thanks to the internet, I am beginning to see how much of it was written by one, amazing writer... and a Christian himself, no less. Awesome!

The WIKI article say Gaylord Du Bois was "a devout Christian," and it definitely shows in the BROTHERS OF THE SPEAR stories. Notice how Dan-El and Natonga [especially in the earlier stories] keep speaking of the guidance of "God" or "The Heavenly One" as they pursue their quest... or how Dan-El's father is revealed to be a tribal king deposed by the witch doctors for his faith in the "One True God!" WOW... I gotta wonder if that wasn't a bit "politically incorrect" even by the publishing standards of the 1950s! Amazing!

Well anyway, I just wanted to share how much I appreciate your grandfather's legacy. I sincerely hope his work is never forgotten.


wourpet said...

Thank you so much for your words and memories. This type of comment is very much appreciated in my gathering of his life.