Filed Under futura, jungle, monkeys, sally volt, space girls
That’s the British cover to Matt Ruff’s novel Bad Monkeys. It’s about a secret organization of evil-fighters and the female agent who decides to give them up. You can read a sample chapter at the website, but I’m warning you that you’ll be hooked.
Dorothy Lamour: Jungle Girl
Golden Age Comic Books has the complete story of another monkey-fighter starting here and finishing here.
Sally Volt: Space Jungle Girl
If I haven’t said it before (I so have): Gene Gonzales is a genius. Space Jungle Girl… amazing.
Segueing into space girls now, Sleestak introduces us to one I’d never heard of before: Futura. He even has her entire first adventure here.
Filed Under monkeys, pirates, scifi, sea adventures, space girls, star wars, zatanna
By Andrew Glazebrook (with more scifi awesomeness here and here).
By Al Williamson (more space romancing- including some by Frazetta – here and here).
Just… wow. By Jess Hickman.
By Gene Gonzales.
Sea Monster vs. Pirate Monkies
By Matthew Porter.
Filed Under monkeys, ordinary basil, talking animals
I just got finished telling someone that I’m psychologically incapable of starting a series in the middle. That’s usually true, but I just realized that it’s not always true. Typically, when a publisher sends me a book from later in the series, I’ll write back and request that I’d like them to first send me the preceding stories so I can catch up. But when the name of the book is Island of the Volcano Monkeys, I tend not to want to wait.
My galley copy of Volcano Monkeys isn’t the final version. I got lots of notes telling me that the cover’s not final, the text isn’t final, and that there’s going to be lots more illustrations and that they’ll be in color. It looks like the first two chapters of my copy are more or less finalized because they do have nice, big, color illustrations, but I’m not going to nitpick the writing details too strongly because for all I know they’re going to change. I don’t need to nitpick the art at all because even the not-final, black-and-white parts are fantastic. The final art is going to be whatever the next level above “fantastic” is.
Apparently, not even the title of my book is finalized. Amazon calls it Attack of the Volcano Monkeys, which has the benefit of being more action packed. It loses the allure of immediately letting you know that an island adventure is involved, but I guess you pick that up again by looking at the finalized cover art.
I like the final cover art better. It’s essentially the same as my version, but instead of having our heroes Basil and Louise in little, white boxes, they’re riding the pterodactyl, which is exactly where they should be. After all, that’s what they do in the story.
Volcano Monkeys is full of that kind of thing. In addition to pterodactyl riding there are also world-conquering mad scientists, personal submarines, magic, giant owls, underground headquarters, and of course: a hidden island, a volcano, and lots of talking monkeys.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read comic strips, but I do remember Wiley Miller’s Non Sequitur as being one of the good ones. Apparently, The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil (of which Volcano Monkeys is the second book) is sort of a spin-off of that. According to Scholastic, “While the first book … The Impossible Flight to Helios, was derived from a storyline in Non Sequitur, The Island of the Volcano Monkeys was created exclusively for the novel’s publication.” So there you go.
It’s all about a 12-year-old boy named Basil Pepperell who lives in a lighthouse with his mom. He’s missing when the story begins, but is soon returned home by a dark, menacing figure in a long overcoat and wide-brimmed, face-obscuring hat. Basil doesn’t stay home for long though. Wherever he’s just been, he left his friend Louise (from the floating city of Helios) there and he needs to get back to save her. Enter Professor McGookin and his submarine.
I’ll leave you to discover what happens next, but it’s all good. I’m tempted to say that Volcano Monkeys is overflowing with adventure that I would’ve loved as a young reader, but the truth is that I also loved it as an adult. And I expect anyone else with a soul will too.
Four out of five Keiras.
Filed Under monkeys
Because what we really need to cap off the day is a picture of a monkey doing a Michael Bay leap while firing two handguns.
Thanks, Victor Santos!