Interview: Paul Tobin on Dynamite’s Jungle Jim

Jungle Jim #1

Jungle Jim #1


Paul Tobin has written such comics as Colder, Bionic Woman, Prometheus: Fire and Stone, and Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four. Now he’s taking part in the King comics at Dynamite, writing new adventures of the classic character, Jungle Jim. Westfield’s Roger Ash contacted Tobin to learn more about the book.

Westfield: What attracted you to this project?

Paul Tobin: The overall group of characters… just being a part of the group. And not only the characters but the other creators that editor Nate Cosby brought together. I’m a huge fan of Roger Langridge, for instance, and when Nate told me that Roger was coming aboard, I was really excited, especially with him on Mandrake, a character I really enjoy.

Westfield: Of the King series, Jungle Jim may be the least known. Is that good or bad? Or a bit of both?

Tobin: I think a bit of both. One thing it’s allowed me to do is really cut loose on the character, because so little is established and so little is widely known. So, I’ve really re-created Jungle Jim, working him into the type of character that has zero boxes, meaning anything can happen. It also made it easier to work Jim into the overall storyline, the greater universe of the characters.

Westfield: For those unfamiliar with him, who is Jungle Jim?

Tobin: Jim Bradley. Originally created to run as a companion strip to Flash Gordon, telling the tale of a hunter in the jungles of Southeastern Asia, which separated him from the seemingly infinite hunters / adventurers in Africa, at the time. We’ve kept him as an Earthman, but dropped him into the jungles of Arboria, and played with time periods, a bit. Well, a lot, really. And we’ve made some MAJOR changes in who he is… what he’s capable of. One thing that hasn’t changed about Jim is his ability to, in the most out of the way places, run into some serious trouble.

Westfield: What can you tell us about the story and who are some of the characters we’ll be meeting?

Tobin: There’s Mox and Thune, a rhino-man and a lion-man that Jeff Parker introduced in his Flash Gordon title, as well. And one of the main characters is Lille DeVrille, an original Jungle Jim femme fatale who we’ve recast as an Arborian. She also appeared in Parker’s Flash Gordon as well, though as a minor, unnamed character. And there’s Jim himself, of course. The others have to seek out and find Jim, who’s a legend on Arboria. Lille needs him, because she NEEDS a legend, because her brother Daris has been captured as a rebel, and is scheduled for execution. Lille needs someone who can do a little favor: storm Ming’s homeworld, break into his prison, and rescue Daris. Simple! But… not only do things go notably wrong… but Lille has a secret she hasn’t told anyone, and it’s going to cause even more trouble.

Westfield: You’re working with artist Sandy Jarrell. What can you say about his contribution to the series?

Tobin: Jungles! Sandy’s good with jungles. And he’s also talented at drawing swarthy rascals, and this series needs such a man at the helm.

Westfield: Any closing comments? How about those Darwyn Cooke covers, right?

Tobin: How about those Darwyn Cooke covers, right? It was great to watch those covers come in, because I think they were a good example of what we’re doing, here… bringing a group of disparate characters together, linking them in one shared world, but at the same time allowing them to have their own stories, so they don’t trip over each other, which is where I think a lot of shared universes fail.

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Jungle Jim #1

 

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