FW Presents: Mountain Comics #31 – Ka-Zar #8


For the final episode of the season, Rob welcomes Fire & Water Network pal Matt Sirois to the cabin to discuss KA-ZAR THE SAVAGE #8 by Bruce Jones, Brent Anderson, and Carlos Garzon! And we wrap up with some Listener Feedback!

Check out images from this comic by clicking here!

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28 responses to “FW Presents: Mountain Comics #31 – Ka-Zar #8

  1. Tarzan speaks quite articulately in the Burroughs novels (and with a crisp British accent no less), but, like Conan later, he was robbed of the gift of speech in the movies, in both cases mostly because they cast a hulking Austrian muscleman for whom acting was not a top priority.

  2. Once again I’d like to thank Rob for having me. It was fun.
    In regards to the Columbia bicycle contest ads that marred the tops of Marvel Comics that summer, I have a sort of fondness for them. It was that summer that I took deeper steps into the Marvel Universe. Prior to 1981 I read Justice League of America, Star Wars and the various Spider-Man titles almost exclusively. That summer, Spidey guest starred in two issues of Captain America so I read those, which lead to me following Cap into the Avengers title and so on. Long story short (Too Late!) the first issues of Captain America, Avengers, Iron Man and Fantastic Four all have that contest banner slapped across the front of them.
    Once again, thank you Rob Kelly for the opportunity, and if you or anyone else) needs help covering any issues of Marvel’s Team America (or their later appearance as The Thunderiders) I’m your man!

    1. While I don’t necessarily share your fondness for the banner ads themselves (which blemished Marvel covers in the summer of 1980 and the autumn/winter of 1981), I do agree that they appeared on some excellent comics from that period – which was right in the middle of my personal comics golden age.
      As for Team America (Thunderiders), I had every single issue of the original series. I very diligently collected it, and I don’t really know why, because even at the time I didn’t like it very much…

      1. Perhaps you collected Team America because, well, you could. Maybe when you picked up the first few, you decided to just keep going. It seemed a rare event to find a new series where you could start right from the beginning back then. I personally was a fan of Evel Knievel. In fact, the Ideal action figure and stunt cycle was another thing passed down to me from one of my uncles. So Team America was another nostalgic series for me. Once I discovered they had less than 20 comic book appearances, I decided I must have every one.

        1. Honestly, I think that’s it, i.e.: I saw the first issue, thought to myself, ‘wow, a new series I can get from no. 1’, picked it up and then just kept going out of momentum (and unlike Ka-Zar and certain other titles, Team America *always* showed up on the spinner racks without fail). Otherwise, unlike most of the kids around me – in rural Oregon – I wasn’t even into Evel Knievel, stunt cycling, etc.
          Funny you should mention their later appearances. I liked them better when they appeared in New Mutants and Captain America – they worked fine as supporting characters.

  3. First things first:
    1. Loved Matt’s story about his mother calling dibs on Mad. So awesome!
    2. There’s a mtn comics ‘to-do’ list?!

    And now to the meat of the show: excellent choice for an issue, because Ka-Zar the Savage was such a great series. The first issue I bought back then was #3 and I was immediately hooked. I loved the writing, with the snappy dialog between Ka-Zar and Shanna, and, naturally, Anderson’s spectacular art. And yeah, Ka-Zar talking like a normal human instead of a noble savage started with this series (a later issue explained why his speaking style changed).
    Rob, I can sympathize with you not being able to find any other issues; for whatever reason, Ka-Zar was pretty hard to find on the spinner racks – that’s why I missed the first two issues and always had trouble finding it month to month. That problem, and the fact that it went direct market only, prompted me to buy a subscription, although not long after that I discovered my first comic book shop. (By the way, the third Marvel title, besides Ka-Zar and Moon Knight, that went direct market only was Micronauts.)
    You can’t go wrong getting more issues of the series. I’m not much into collecting single issues any more, but next year an omnibus collecting the entire series is going to be published – I may just get it, even though it will break my bank.
    Anyway, great show, kudos to both you and Matt for having a great conversation and reminding me one of my favorite series back in the day.

    1. Ka-Zar was an amazing series. It’s too bad it different find a larger audience, or it seems, a larger audience was unable to find Ka-Zar. It might have appealed to the readers of Marvel’s Conan books, had they been able to come up with a cross promotion to the series.

  4. Nice to hear from Matt, and he did a great job on his first podcast! Rob’s solid-black candy van continues to drive around parking lots, pulling unsuspecting listeners into the world of podcasting.

    I recall a few house ads for Ka-Zar, but had no access to comic shops at the time of the series run, so this and Moon Knight were like comics from some parallel world. Sounds intriguing, though!

    Thanks for another great season of Mountain Comics Rob. In some ways, I think it’s perhaps the “purest” of our FW shows. Just two fans gabbing about fun comics. I love it.


    1. Thank you Chris! Rob has since modified the van to resemble the one Teb Brown drove in the Captain America TV movies, so it was no challenge to get me onboard. Getting rid of me… that was more difficult.

  5. First off, Matt, great podcasting debut! You’re a natural! Speaking from experience, Rob is a wonderful and understanding first podcast partner. Hope to hear more from you!
    Now, onto the podcast….which was an enjoyable listen. I too never read any of Ka Zar, but listening to both of you gushing about this issue, I may have to peruse the internet and see if I can pick up some back issues.
    I’ll miss Mountain Comics and look forward to a new season, not only because I enjoy the show, but because it means it’s summer again. I too had my version of “Mountain Comics”, except mine were “Trailer Comics”, as my extended family spent summers in a trailer resort on the Jersey Shore. 13 people in a trailer….yeah, I have stories…. Anyway, we’d usually stop by the Shore Mall, outside of Atlantic City, which was a type of hybrid “dirt mall”, so there was a strange type of book/magazine store where i could find various issues of comics I NEVER found at my local 7-11, like Moon Knight, Spider-Man Annuals and Arion….titles I would buy so I had a comic to read, but would never buy again.
    I had the same type of experience with the Sears Wish Books of the late 80’s, which would sell a short box of various Marvel and DC titles. For a few years, every Christmas morning, I’d lay on the carpet under our Christmas Tree and read a Shang-Chi, Power Man and Iron Fist or Green Lantern, titles I’d NEVER find locally. Hmmm, perhaps I should start a Christmas Comics podcast…..
    Can’t wait for the new season and count me in as someone who wants to see the Mountain Comics list! Looking forward to next season. Now pass the Yoo Hoo!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! I had a few of those comic collectors kits from the Sears Wish Book as well! Did you get the ones that came with an orange storage box with comic pages on them?
      I can definitely recommend the first year of Ka-Zar the Savage, especially if you like sci-fi and fantasy mash-ups.

      1. YES! I still have a ripped and ragged box down in my basement! Those were the best Christmas gifts! I will most definitely be looking into reading some Ka Zar. I think, as with most, I passed over these titles, only to discover in my old age how amazing they can be.

  6. I’m the Mad Magazine hoarding mother of Matt Sirois. I loved and still do Mad! Matt brings me one every now and then. Last month I was hospitalized and couldn’t have visitors due to Covid. Matt actually brought me up some nostalgic back issues. I encouraged Matt in his comic mania because he hated to read in school. I was just happy to see him read. I signed for him at the comic store so he could buy graphic novels. Read on ! son!! oh I didn’t know how graphic they were but still he was reading…..

    1. This may be my single favorite podcast comment ever! I don’t know Matt personally, but from what I heard and from your comment, Mrs. Sirois, it sounds like you raised him right.

  7. Yay, Mountain Comics! Welcome, Matt. An auspicious debut. Lovely to hear about your comics history.

    I’ve never read this Ka-Zar comic, but mention of Brent Anderson led to you reciting the phrase that activates me, Manchurian Candidate-style: ‘Strikeforce Morituri’. This is one of my favourite series of all time. In fact, it ran not for 12 issues, but for 31, followed by a five-issue prestige mini. I recently reread the first 20, most of which were pencilled by Anderson (he and writer Peter B. Gillis departed after that), and it’s some really great stuff. #12 in particular is amazing, and contains one of my favourite single pages in all of comics. Highly recommended!

    1. “Welcome, Matt” Lol! Don’t walk all over me please!
      Strike Force Morituri is indeed an underrated and overlooked series. It was too far ahead of its time. I certainly didn’t appreciate it when it was released. The concept that the heroes were doomed to die wasn’t something I was ready for.

  8. Matt, I have to say I am quite jealous of how well you did with your first ever podcast. Mine was also with Rob for an episode of MASHCast. I loved the experience, but listening back I can tell I was nervous and afraid to speak up. (None of that was Rob’s fault. He was friendly and gracious.) I felt much more comfortable during my second appearance, but you knocked it out of the park on your first.
    Rob, I don’t comment on a lot of podcasts because I am usually listening to them while doing something else like driving. By the time I am able to sit down to respond, I typically forget what I wanted to say. Regardless, I am a regular listener to your Mountain Comics podcasts and have enjoyed everyone. Even if it isn’t a title I care for, hearing your love and fondness for them often makes me wish I read them when I was still actively collecting.
    Keep up the good work and enjoy your fall, winter, and spring break!

    1. Thank you Paul!
      Yes, Rob makes it very easy. I must confess that I did a lot of studying and preparing. Plus, I got a great comic to cover.

  9. Nice one Matt, great debut. I don’t know why I tried the Ka-Zar series, I’d always found him dull, but I’m hugely glad I did, it was so different to what I’d expected. Compelling characters, big daft plots, humour aplenty (that joke Ka-Zar told while fighting Buth was a hoot) and surprises such as the Ka-Zar the Detective issue.

    Have a great break Rob, and thanks for another brilliant run – see you at the cabin next year!

    1. Thank you Martin.
      It was a thrill to be a part of this great podcast. Normally I only get to talk about comics to people who are trapped in an elevator with me!
      For me it was more about The Savage Land than the character of Ka-Zar. I’m a sucker for a “lost world” story.

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