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Korak in Pal-ul-don

Gold Key vs. Dark Horse

Why the color change?

Steve Allsup

I have been having a conversation with one of our list members the past couple of days about the Russ Manning reprint books that Dark Horse published about eight years ago, and she brought it to my attention that the recoloring was very poor, much worse than I realized. The story in question was in Tarzan the Terrible, which had some very important errors in it. I sat down this evening and did a detailed comparison of the changes that Dark Horse made to the coloring of the Manning Tarzan adaptations and the results are here. Dark Horse completely recolored each story from scratch, possibly without reference to the Gold Key color scheme (the artist may have been given B&W art without instructions). Each change that Dark Horse makes tha I list is continued throughout the series, so I don't repeat the same thing for each book:

Tarzan of the Apes (recolored by Jason Hvam):

Beasts of Tarzan (Jason Hvam):

Son of Tarzan (Jason Hvam):

Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar (colors by Keith Wood):

Tarzan the Untamed (Jason Hvam):

Tarzan the Terrible:

(This is the story with the most significant changes which Tavia brought to my attention):

In general, it should be pointed out that the Dark Horse approach to the panel backgrounds is more realistic and consistent (sky always blue, etc) but the down side of that is that the pages are much darker and less colorful than the Gold Key issues, which featured a brighter color scheme overall (such as nighttime scenes, which Dark Horse grayed out much blacker, etc)

One can only hope that if Dark Horse gives Manning's Tarzan the hardback treatment that they gave Kubert, that they will reference the original Manning color schemes. The mis-coloration of the Waz-don was almost unforigivable. Manning's orignal color scheme of the Waz-don was really perfect and beautiful—the blue-black made it look like they had a sleek, glossy coat of fur. Changing that to light brown comes off making them look like fuzzy negroes.