Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why I love Turok, Son of Stone

Many years ago, when I was a child, I mostly read funny comics. I preferred Archie and Chip 'n' Dale and Casper. I had a couple of superhero comics, but I didn't understand why Green Lantern and Green Arrow seemed so angry, or why they had such hip, adult lives. I bought a Batman once and was devastated when the story was continued next issue. How would I ever get that comic? Would Crazy Quilt win??

One day, my dad brought me home a new comic. New to me, anyway. It had Indians fighting a dinosaur on the cover. Now you're talkin'! I had cut my teeth on both Dinosaurs and Cowboys 'n' Indians. I was in heaven.

For anyone out there who is unfamiliar with Turok, Turok and Andar are a pair of frontier-era Plains Indians who have stumbled into a "lost world" of the Arthur Conan Doyle or Edgar Rice Burroughs type.

It's probably my favorite "lost world" comic, as Turok and Andar really don't have a clue what dinosaurs are and, even with their relatively primitive, bow and arrow technology are still amazingly technologically superior to the various axe and spear level natives they encounter.

Add in a few quaint, innocent touches like the way all the cave folk speak broken English amongst themselves or the way Turok and Andar (and everyone they subsequently meet) call Dinosarus "honkers" and you have a comic that is both thrillingly adventurous and unbelievably charming.

But you needen't take my word for it, Mykal at the Gold Key Comics! blog has posted a classic issue of Turok, Son of Stone for the benefit of everyone.

For me, Turok, Son of Stone is always a window into a fantastic Lost World in more ways than one.

Thank the Gods 'Tis Thor's Day will return next week.


  1. Back in my day, a kid started out reading Casper (Harvey), Archie, etc. Then they segued into DC tales and finally "graduated" to Marvel, usually on the cusp of teenhood.

    The reasons for this progression are several, but the one rarely mentioned is that at adolescence I finally had a grasp on time and space and logistics. Before then I was just as you recall. A "to be continued" story was a colossal disappointment because finding the second part was a matter of the wildest luck. Somewhen in there, I suddenly figured out how it was accomplished and could read the often-continued Marvel line.

    And back in those days, I enjoyed a Turok comic more than most Gold Key offerings.

  2. Yeah, I finally "graduated" to Marvels when I was about 13-14. And talk about continued. In the mid-80's every issue of every Marvel was an ad for every other Marvel series. Between guest spots and "Secret Wars" being a AMrvel reader was quite an investment. I didn't come around to DC at all until about '87 when I started reading Batman and Detective, although I had grown up with and loved the DC heroes. Marvel was what the "cool" comics readers read in my neighborhood.

  3. Aaron: Marvel had the cool thing going on back in my day as well - basically the 60's and early 70's. They were simply what the cool set read. Now, of course, I have finally graduated to the Gold Key fan club!

    Thanks for the mention, Aaron - I loved reading your thoughts on Turok. Like you say - for me the hook was both the Indians and the dinasaurs! -- Mykal

  4. I guess I can indirectly blame the Mighty Marvel Mentality on my missing out on Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom. That's a sweet read!

  5. Aaron,
    What's up with the cover of TUROK where the dinosaur is lifting up Andar to pick fruit?! I never saw that one! WTF! Turok is alarmed...indeed! Looks really funny on the cover - is the story funny? intentionally or not?
    Thank god for Dad's who bought us comics! Little boys with no job and no car couldn't get to the comic store (or drug store rather - no 'comic' stores back then). My Dad bought me my one and only Turok issue of my youth. Thanks Dad!

    Good post!

  6. Apocolyte- The cover story is extremely goofy. It's called "The Honker That Was Human". The honker in question warns Turok and Andar of danger, behaves like a pet and -ultimately- tries to eat Andar. Andar vows that he will kill the next "friendly" honker they meet. Perhaps I'll post the whole story some day.