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Roy G. Krenkel - "the Cave Girl" - Original Pencil Illustration Art (1960s) For Sale
"The Cave Girl" an original drawing by Roy G. Krenkel executed circa 1961. Soft pencil on a 4.5 x 5 inch creme card, unsigned.Edgar Rice Burroughs originally published his novel The Cave Girl in three parts in All Story Magazine in 1913 and completed it in the same magazine in 1917. The book version wasn't published until 1925 when McClurg issued it with a cover by J. Allen St. John. In 1962 the publishing firm of Canaveral Press, an imprint of the booksellers Biblo and Tannen issued the book with a cover and interior illustrations by Roy G. Krenkel. These remain amongst the best pen illustrations for a book by Burroughs Krenkel did as he loved the story. He also produced a full color paperback cover for the novel which was published by Ace Books. This cover was not one of Krenkel's better efforts even though Frazetta did some work on it as it was rushed but the Canaveral Press illustrations are. To sum up the story for those not in the know The Cave Girl tells the tale of bookish Waldo Emerson Smith-Jones who is swept overboard during a south sea voyage and finds himself stranded on a jungle island inhabited by fearsome ape like men out of Earth's evolutionary past. While fleeing from these brutes he meets up with Nadara, a beautiful young girl (a sort of Dorothy Lamour like jungle princess) who is also on the run. He saves her from the grasp of one of these hulking creatures and she looks upon him as her savior and a hero calling him Thundara which in her language means Brave One. She teaches him her native tongue and how to fish and swim and basic woodland skills and he on his own profits by her teaching and builds himself up into a powerful warrior, a force to contend with. He realizes however, that Nandara is the prey of evil forces on the island and even forgoes the chance to escape back to civilization on a modern ship that is passing by in order to ensure her safety.This is how the story begins. It ends with Waldo conquering the various evil entities who pop up and threaten the more peaceful tribal members on the island, teaching the tribes the ways of the modern world, and saving Nadara from the clutches of an assortment of brutal adversaries including a band of pirates. Eventually he discovers that Nadara like himself is a modern white woman. It turns out she was raised by tribal foster parents when she and her father were washed ashore many years before. With this knowledge in hand Waldo marries the girl and the two sail off into the sunset to of all places Honolulu. The illustration being offered for sale depicts a scene from the novel not illustrated in any of the five pen drawings Krenkel provided for the Canaveral Press edition Whether it is a detailed preliminary sketch or was executed for it own sake is not known. Here Waldo has disabled a tribesman who was posing a threat to Nadara. He has bested him in mortal combat and Krenkel depicts Waldo as a powerfully built athlete, a kind of Tarzan figure. Nadara, who we see adopting a rather sultry pose in the background is looking at Waldo with respect and it appears a certain sexual frisson which suggests the two are more than just friends. What happens next we will leave to the viewer's imagination and the censors. In any event this is a very well drawn example of Krenkel's work from the early 1960s when he was producing some of his best Burroughs inspired drawings. The original published illustrations for The Cave Girl are all tucked away in private collections and drawings and sketches for the books do not turn up very often. This drawing only recently came to light in a portfolio of drawings by RGK marked "Not For Sale." It has thus never been offered for sale before . It is unsigned but will be authenticated by the RGK Estate upon request. The forthcoming collection of Krenkel drawings titled Sirens and Sibyls will I am told be available this summer from Vanguard Publications.
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Roy G. Krenkel - "the Cave Girl" - Original Pencil Illustration Art (1960s): $307