Every day this August I’ll be spotlighting strange but ultimately endearing comic stories, one a day (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of past installments of this feature.
Today we take a look at one of the stories from the first issue of Strange Tales. It is drawn by Manny Stallman called “The Beast.” I don’t know who wrote it. It contains some…interesting theories about gorillas. Apparently, gorillas are inherently evil or something. Read on to find out more!
The issue opens up with an anthropology student visiting the Gorilla cages at the zoo. Then a fellow student comes by that our guy, Phillips, really hates. The other fellow is Paul Lorenzo. At least I presume that’s how it goes, they refer to him as “Paul” and “Lorenzo” at different points, so I presume that’s suppose to be his first and last name. Or it is just a screw-up. Either or.
So anyhow, Paul has some…interesting theories about gorillas.
Isn’t that some crazy stuff? I love Paul’s dialogue.
Look at what happens when they realize who is breaking into the exhibit…
Paul’s dialogue is so great! “I’ve always felt he was a kindred soul – seeking evil and power!”
Paul’s awesome dialogue continues, as he appears to be hitting on the professor now. So anyhow, Paul does, indeed, turn into an ape and he starts going nuts on the other two guys (because, after all, apes are evil, dontcha know).
However, out of NOWHERE, with absolutely no explanation given…
Phillips is a bit of a jerk, too. What, you go back to taunt Paul? That’s kind of messed up.
Like this whole story, really. And yes, there is a good deal of racist sub-text involved. Great art by Stallman, though.