Monday, June 11, 2012

The "Christian Prince Valiant": TULLUS rides in "The Chariot Race"

When I was a rural lad back in the 1970s, attending my family's local Baptist Church "every time the doors opened" [as went the favorite expression of the devout, like my parents],  I used to love and save the weekly handout given to us children called simply "PIX Magazine."  It was a little digest mag, I think about 8-12 pages long, published by the David C. Cook House in Chicago

Typically it would have a print story, a puzzle or other activity page, a Bible story in comic form, and-- my favorite part--  an installment of a serial featuring a first century teen-aged Christian name TULLUS.

I was so taken by the adventures of Tullus [kind of a Christian answer to period adventure comic strips like, say, PRINCE VALIANT] that my mother bought me the 4 volume paperback reprint edition [pictured above] as a Christmas gift.  I reckon this was in the Yule of 1975 [I was then 11 years of age.]

Believe it or not, I still have these books!  The 4 of them, in their badly scuffed cardboard slipcase, are actually on the bookshelf in the master bedroom as I write this.

An internet search of Tullus-related pages revealed that the character was actually created at the Cook House by one Joseph Hughes Newton way back in the wartime year of 1943!  Apparently the comics I read were actaully a revival of the popular character.  In fact, one site comments that these later comics, although admittedly well-written and well-drawn, are actually considered inferior to the "old" Tulluses, which are today highly prized by serious Christian collectors. For one thing, these earlier adventures were never collected in book form, and most kids tossed the Sunday handouts after they read them. 

I had NO idea!

That was certainly intesting!  maybe one day some enterprizing soul will give these early comics the graphic treatment... but considering how small that "niche" must be, that hope is a real dream, to be sure.

Until that day comes the later Tullus yarns of my boyhood are fairly easy to obtain in the black and white paperbacks shown above.  [I should note that TULLUS was indeed printed in vibrant color in the original hand-outs.]

Anyway... here is a pretty cool adventure that illustrates well the elements that formed the appeal of young TULLUS: Good clean storytelling, a fairly intelligent sense of period,  and lots of  [never-violent] action...

Enjoy, if you like.

Also, here's a couple of the DELL-style info pages that were common in-between story arcs in the original magazine:



Oscar said...

I'm glad I didn't live in those days.

Albie The Good said...

OSCAR: Ain't that the truth! No such things as "good old days."

David C Brown said...

Looks great - I must come back for it!

Grace be with you.

Anonymous said...

You may enjoy previews of the various stories told in comics form which are published by Calvary Comics:

Albie The Good said...

DAVID: I think you'll like it... its a pretty cool adventure tale-- with a higher purpose.


Albie The Good said...

ANONYMOUS: Thanks for the tip... I'll check it out :)