Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Foreign Favorites: Pantera Bionda

A female Tarzan was a real novelty in Italy in 1948, and it all started with La Jungla published by Casa Editrice ARC. Their most popular character was the beautiful Pantera Bionda (The Blonde Panther) written by Gian Giacomo Delmasso and illustrated by the talented Enzo Magni. Marketed for the male adolescent audience, Pantra Bionda fought in the Borneo jungle against Japanese soldiers with the help of Tao, her chimpanzee and Lotus Leaf, an old Chinese woman, and her American boyfriend, Fred. Scantily clad in her tight panther skins, she soon caught the attention of many young Italian boys as well as the Italian censors worried about the corruption of innocent minds. To stay off lawsuits and seizures of the issues, which were selling at one hundred thousand each month, (a record at that time), the publisher quickly lengthened the jungle-woman's hemline and covered her ample chest in the later stories. But only after two years, the censors extreme pressure on the title won, and the publisher decided to leave the market to concentrate on educational comics.



Smurfswacker said...

I can't believe you have original art from "Pantera Bionda"! Do any of Magni's interior pages exist?

Dave Karlen said...

I don't know of any original pages that survived. The cover image shown here is another artist's interpretation of a line drawn comic cover.