Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Phantom Jungle Girl: Her Beauty Secrets Revealed!

The first page of Don Simpson’s Bizarre Heroes #1 (Fiasco Comics, 1994) was a simlple nine-panel grid featuring the Phantom Jungle Girl putting on her false eyelashes, doing her  make-up, then putting on her wig, earrings and improbable mask.  

The original idea was sketched out in an 11" x 14" sketchbook, on the same sheet as a couple of thumbnail layouts for the last of issue of my King Kong adaptation (Monster Comics/Fantagraphics, 1991), meaning I was planning Bizarre Heroes already by that time.

The light blue and graphite pencil tissue was then traced onto 2-ply Bristol board, then inked with a sable brush and perhaps crowquill pen.

The transformation of the somewhat butch community activist Donna Blank (she looks like a short-haired Jenny Woodlore from Border Worlds) into the overtly girlish Phantom Jungle Girl struck the right tone for the series, although I didn’t explore her secret identity any further until the Megaton Man Weekly Serial, around 1996 (this web comic was ahead of its time, and ran for more than 4 years).

Below is another one of those pieces of art that I never finished but have never been able to part with. It shows three megaheroes, all in plain costumes tying it to the megaclones of the Kitchen Sink Bizarre Heroes #1 (1990), and probably dates to around that time. However, I always envisioned this love triangle set into some kind of Legion of Superheroes future, where everyone lives in a high-tech, highly urbanized area, and practically has to be a megahero just to fly from one high-rise to the next.

There is no background, but I envision the foreground figure peering around a corner to see her boyfriend cheating on her. They have no numbers like the megaclones, so perhaps this was some offshoot idea or earlier incarnation. But I’ve always thought there was something more here to be explored. (Why does the foreground figure have panties and the background couple only have unitards? Discuss amongst yourselves.)


  1. The transformation scene is great!

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  3. I remember seeing a picture of The Slick on the internet about 20 years ago, along with a dossier listing his real name and super powers, but I have not been able to find it again. It intrigued me because...well...I have the same name, and I am just discovering my super powers.
    Don? Can you help?