Seven Seas Comics #3 artwork by Matt Baker

Title: Seven Seas Comics #3 artwork by Matt Baker Number:
Pedigree: Grading Company: Grade:
Type: Original Art Page Color: Publisher Date: Universal Phoenix Features, 1947 Price: $7,500.00
Description:
Here is a very rare and special Golden-Age gem. Original artwork for Seven Seas Comics #3 (Iger/ Universal Phoenix Features, 1947), page 2 by Golden-Age legend Matt Baker (pencils and inks). Writer and co-creator Thorne Stevenson (Manning Lee Stokes) opens his riveting tale by revealing to us, “It is the time of the Equinox, when hurricanes sweep the Vanishing Isles and Alani must meet the challenge of any who defy her…” In this scene, the beautiful Alani goes toe-to-toe with the hulking Mazoni, an evil islander bent on murderous rancor. Original artwork for Baker’s South Sea Girl is extremely rare and seldom seen anywhere and a page featuring his most famous creation, Alani the South Sea Girl, is extra special indeed!



More history about Alani the South Sea Girl:



According to Mark Seifert, the co-founder and creative director of Bleeding Cool's parent company, Avatar Press, the short-lived series Seven Seas Comics #1-6 (April, 1946 - 1947) published by Samuel "Jerry" Iger's own company, Universal Phoenix Feature was the turning point in artist Matt Baker's career. In his most excellent article Seifert states, "The series [Seven Seas Comics] began about a year and a half after his comics debut on Sheena in Jumbo Comics, and his style had evolved significantly towards the form that would make him a legend in subsequent decades. Baker's work on the character South Sea Girl in all six issues of this series, and on the covers of its final four issues, was the beginning of a higher profile for Baker's Good Girl artistic skill. His infamous work for Fox Feature Syndicate [Phantom Lady] ramped up just as Seven Seas Comics was concluding."



The stories were written by Manning Lee Stokes, a writer who likewise used several pseudonyms (such as Thorne Stevenson for this series). Stokes introduced the beautiful Alani, Queen of the Vanishing Isles in her very first appearance (Seven Seas Comics #1) as such, "Above the volcano floor, shrouded by whispering mists, and hemmed in with deep waters treacherously studded by reefs, lies the Vanishing Isles...where the pounding surf sweeps adventure against lush shores, demanding a beautiful ruler and protector, ALANI...known simply as the South Sea Girl!"



The Vanishing Isles were a chain of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, which were perpetually shrouded by a dense mists, keeping them hidden from prying eyes of the outside world. With no charts in existence to show the actual location of the Vanishing Isles, Alani explained to the concerned sea going captain Ted Trimble, "I know the way. Volcanoes on the sea floor cause the water to boil, sending up mists, they protect my isles...(Seven Seas Comics #1)."



Alani was the Queen of the Vanishing Isles, who wore a red bikini top a sarong that was adorned with a black flower-like design (her classic garb displayed beautifully on the covers of Seven Seas Comics #4-6). According to Seifert, Alani may have been inspired by actress Dorothy Lamour, "Storytelling centered around a beautiful sarong-wearing South Sea Island girl was practically a film genre unto itself in the decade leading up to South Sea Girl's debut in Seven Seas Comics. And if one can point to a root inspiration for Baker's South Sea Girl character Alani, it might be actress Dorothy Lamour, who generally resembles Alani and starred in so many popular South Sea Island films that she became known as 'The Sarong Girl.'" It was the movie Jungle Princess (Paramount, 1936), which solidified her fame. Herein, Lamour wore a Edith Head designed sarong and the film proved to be a big hit at the box office and the actress would be associated with sarongs for the remainder of her career (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Lamour). Other movies in this popular South Seas genre that Lamour starred in would be John Ford's The Hurricane (Samuel Goldwyn, 1937), Her Jungle Love (Paramount, 1938), Road to Singapore (Paramount, 1940), Typhoon (Paramount, 1940), Aloma of the South Seas (Paramount, 1941), and Rainbow Island (1944)."



All in all, Alani the South Sea Girl may go down in comic book history as perhaps, Matt Baker's most famous work, second only to Phantom Lady.

Image: Seven Seas Comics #3 artwork by Matt Baker

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