A Tribute to the of

There arenít many so-called one-man-bands in the world of comics. Youíve got your Joe Kubertís, your Steve Ditkoís and no doubt others that arenít crossing my cranium at the moment. I recently discovered another triple threat: Howie Post. As it happens, Howie scripted, penciled and inked the short-lived series, Anthro and even designed the logo. All that was left was for Joe Orlando to provide editing and uncredited personnel to letter and color. While Anthro debuted in Showcase #74, shortly thereafter he had his own self-titled series and Iíve decided to take a peek at issue #1 from July/August of 1968 titled ďBattle of the Sexes!Ē

Anthro is, of course a prehistoric figure dashing about in long hair and loin cloth and dealing with the dangerous critters of the era. The story opens with Anthro and his younger brother Lart going to collect some of the spoils from Anthroís recent successful hunt. He has managed to bring down a ďserpent-noseĒ or as we might say, a woolly mammoth.

Anthroís first activity upon arrival at the site is to knock a couple of rocks together to scare off the inevitable scavengers. He then produces some cutting tools to begin the slaughtering process when a female appears and hurls a spear their direction.

Against the protests of his younger brother, Anthro pursues the blonde and recalls having seen her before and that she ďswims like an otter!Ē It seems swimming isnít her only talent as she covers a lot of ground until Anthro rids himself of his spear and ultimately corners her, but she immediately goes on the attack, taking advantage of his pause as he takes in her natural beauty. After a struggle, including Anthro suffering a bite, he manages to overcome the feisty female and learns that she speaks the dialect of his motherís tribe. He asks why she attacked him and she responds that it was because he killed Donta, her serpent-nose that she had domesticated. Anthro is shocked and she explains that sheíd saved him as a calf after a hunting party that included her father had slain its mother. She had kept Dontaís existence a secret due to the prized status of their pelts and ivory.

Anthro asks her forgiveness, which she readily gives, including an embrace that has an intoxicating effect on him. She then loses consciousness and he takes her with him, forgetting all about Lart, still on watch at the site of the kill. Unfortunately the scavengers havenít forgotten and theyíre closing in.

Lart tries to use the techniques of his brother, but the rock trick isnít working. He tosses a steak to them, but the effect is short-lived. Then things get worse when a massive Canid arrives. The dog-like creature is the size of a horse and heís come to feed.

Crying out for his brother, Lart gets Anthroís attention at last and before he can get close enough to assist, the beast leaps at Lart, who is backed up against a large rock formation. It does, however, provide a solid support for his spear and the creature impales itself on it, but not before managing to mangle one of Lartís legs.

Swiftly, Anthro carries Lart back to the village where he is administered to and ultimately recovers, but he is permanently crippled. Anthro vows to be his legs.

Later, Anthro and his father, the chief, venture back to the mammoth to claim the meat and his father is astonished at the size of the attacking dog, having only heard of it in legends. The chief chides Anthro for being distracted by the female and suggests it is time he takes a wife. He instructs him where to go to find a chiefís daughter, worthy of his status as the son of a chief. Anthro is soon on his way bearing gifts.

Arriving at the camp, Anthro presents himself to the chief and offers his gifts. The leader of the tribe is impressed and promptly orders the tasks of worthiness to take place, but not before Anthro spots a familiar blonde in the chiefís tent.

Feeling even more motivated, Anthro succeeds admirably at an ancient form of skeet with spears and then struggles a bit, but ultimately succeeds in breaking a horse. Following completion of this task, the chief agrees to give him his eldest daughter in marriage and wouldnít you know it, she is not the blonde, but a more, ahem, substantial girl who lacks her younger sisters charms. Anthro sees but one thing to do and he makes a run for it. The angered chief pursues the one who insulted his eldest daughter, but a short distance away, the younger daughter is also on Anthroís trail as this apparently continuing saga draws to a close.

The following page, titled ďThe World of AnthroĒ was doubtless to be the future letter column and is filled with humorous text by Howie Post about the story that has preceded it.

Howie Post had a distinctive art style and managed to pull off a similar skill that Iíve mentioned in the past about the great Nick Cardy,. Anthro was well-drawn, but also included some humorous touches that didnít look out of place in the storyline, much like the Bat-Lash stories by Nick. The efforts came honestly as Howie was probably better known for his humor work on such Harvey titles as Hot Stuff and Casper the Friendly Ghost, not forgetting his many years as a successful syndicated cartoonist with his work on The Dropouts.

Anthro only went for a year or six issues if you prefer, but I can see where it had some potential and when the opportunity presents itself, Iíll be interested in seeing what else Howie Post came up with. Itís apparent that he was a most talented creator and I only regret that I didnít contact him before he passed away a few years ago. Iíll give this issue a 6 on the 10-point rating scale. Itís always a pleasure to delve into a title that Iíve not had any experience with and Anthro certainly filled the bill.

Thanks as always for your kind patronage, gentle reader. Iím at a new address as I write this and my beloved comic book collection is still in storage with the majority of my household goods, but I havenít missed one of my self-imposed deadlines yet and donít intend to start now.

Do keep the webmaster and I posted with your thoughts and questions, which can be sent to professor_the@hotmail.com.

Swing back by on the 1st and check out the latest review.

Long live the Silver Age!

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