"Compulsion on the Range" splash
page from Jungle Book (1959)
7" wide x 12.5" high
Pen & ink, brush and wash on blue-ruled
Bristol board glued to a second sheet.
Splash page for Kurtzman's western parody,
"Compulsion on the Range," from Jungle Book.
This is page 69 from the 1986 Kitchen Sink Press book [Out of
print, but available on this site ---Steve]. Note the Rorschach
Test drawings among the saddle, irons, ten gallon hat and other
western accouterments --- this is a psychological western.
This piece is one of only four splash pages in one of the most
important works in comic art history. The title and introductory
text is hand-lettered by Kurtzman (everything in this
book ---even the indicia page--- was written, drawn and lettered
by Kurtzman). The top two lines of lettering are pasted over
an apparent lettering error or editorial change and there is
very light rubber cement staining in the vicinity of the paste-over.
A tape stain along the top, two "x" registration marks
and printer's pencilled notations (all outside the image area)
are the only "flaws." But the image itself is excellent
and unscathed. This original would look wonderful in a custom
oval-shaped matte which followed the rounded contours of the
top and bottom of the splash.
Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book, created
in 1959, stands as a watershed moment in comics history. It was
the first paperback book of original comics material. It introduced
the character Goodman Beaver, who evolved, amazingly enough,
three years later into Playboy's Little Annie Fanny. Jungle
Book was an all-too-rare example of Kurtzman working without
collaborators. But most important, its four stories were flat-out
brilliant, inspiring, among others, the young generation of underground
cartoonists who emerged less than a decade later.