who is korak?

by Jesse Marinoff Reyes ( Jesse Marinoff Reyes Design, Maplewood, N.J.)

Korak, Son of Tarzan
Gold Key Comics, January 1971 issue, #39
Illustration: George Wilson (1921-1999)

Wilson, a prolific pulp paperback cover artist, was AS prolific as the primary cover painter for Gold Key Comics (Gold Key’s covers were either painted, or artfully employed promotional photography for their television or movie adaptation comics) on numerous titles including Tarzan, Korak, Son of Tarzan, Turok, Son of Stone, Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom, Space Family Robinson, Star Trek, Dark Shadows, Magnus Robot Fighter, Time Tunnel, The Twilight Zone, The Phantom, and hundreds more. The interior art for the Korak story this issue was done by the terrific Dan Spiegle (b. 1920).

---JMR:...but even amongst their workmanlike output (none of it was bad, just not spectacular like Marvel in the 1960s/1970s) you'd find the likes of the aforementioned Dan Spiegle; Russ Manning (on Tarzan, Korak, and Magnus Robot Fighter); and Doug Wildey (also on Tarzan), creator of Jonny Quest!

Here “Shelob” gets freelance work from Edgar Rice Burroughs. The second “giant spider” painting Wilson did for Korak (issue #25). I credit Wilson (and the film, The Incredible Shrinking Man) for making giant spiders something that will always give me the creeps.
JMR:Western Publishing’s editor’s tastes seemed more grounded in newspaper comics—which is why their narrative was always so strong, and their artists more grounded in the real and not super-real. Even in that there could be excellence. I have a back issue of COMIC ARTIST (or one of those) on the history of GK. I need to pull that out for some research refreshment!

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