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Mr. Mumbo Jumbo sprang to life in the back pages of Topps Comics SATAN'S SIX #2 (1993) fostered - directly and indirectly - by two of the greatest names in the annals of modern comics, Jack Kirby and Jim Salicrup!! Jack Kirby you may've heard of - King of Comics, penciling wizard behind the Marvel Age thereof, co-creator of the Golden Age's pre-eminent patriot, Captain America, driving force behind DC's Fourth World? The man has a list of credits that'd make Stephen King look like a slacker!! Which is probably why the folks at Topps Comics-you know, the baseball card people? - licensed some unused but still fertile ideas from the then retired Monarch of Mayhem. Recruiting many of his past collaborators to bring it to fruition and dubbing the whole shebang the "Kirbyverse", Topps unleashed it upon the public back in the early nineties. Ultimately not a sales success with readers, the stunt did bring a lot of positive publicity-as well as some well-deserved cash-to the elder Kirby and his queen, Roz the First.
Now, you're probably wondering, "Was this Mr. Mumbo Jumbo a product of the prodigious Kirby imagination?" No, no, NO! Come on people, give the man more credit than THAT!?!? Mr. MJ is all Hembeck, and I'm sure Jack was plenty happy with that being the situation. What happened was, unlike it's companion titles-SECRET CITY SAGA, BOMBAST, CAPTAIN GLORY , and NIGHTGLIDER - plans were made to devote the back pages of the four issue SATAN'S SIX limited series to a different, unrelated character each and every issue. And that, ladies and gents, is where that OTHER titan of four-color fancies, Jim Salicrup, comes into our story.
Okay, okay, so maybe Jim's not quite the legend Kirby is, but he's always been Topps with me! ( Sorry, gang, but there's no way I could've resisted THAT one…) Jim's had a long and fruitful tenure as an editor in the comics biz, with perhaps the only stain on his permanent record being the continual hiring of yours truly at virtually every stop he's made!?! Jim initiated and then oversaw my Marvel Age feature for nearly a decade while at (naturally) Marvel.
Along with several other Spider-Man related features, Jim was responsible for getting my pet project, Petey, into print. And just a couple years ago, he hired me to produce a stillborn strip for the ill-fated Stan Lee Media website, giving me the distinction of having my work dragged down in flames by one of my childhood idols!?! But make no mistake, it was a privilege, as was the opportunity he gave me while on a stopover at Topps: six pages, complete freedom (but don't do anything stupid). GO! That was pretty much my instructions.

Dr. Fate, Dr. Strange, and most assuredly, the Phantom Stranger - they were all part of a template when I sat down to conjure up Mr. Mumbo Jumbo. You know, the kind of mystical know-it-all who waltzes into a story, mumbles a few magic phrases, and voila! (itself a mystical phrase), the situation is well in hand. Those sorta supernatural snobs seemed ripe for satirizing, and I was delighted to have my attempt published inside so prestigious a comic. Of course, that was the era of shrink-wrapped comics, and in this instance, that meant being accompanied by - what else? - a trading card!! Hey, this was Topps after all! Odds are that a lotta folks who bought SATAN'S SIX #2 never took it out of its bag-it'd no longer be considered in mint condition, y'see. Meaning that maybe some of the actual owners of that very comic will get to read "The Case of the Bewitched Bikini" here for the very first time!?! Now, that's just the sort of irony a fellow like Mr. Mumbo Jumbo would richly appreciate, don'tcha know?…
Oh, and since there's an awful lot of black and white art to be found here at thus site, I decided to scan this adventure directly from the comics page to add a welcome splash of color to the proceedings. Although uncredited, the hues could've been handled by Phil Zimelman, who was responsible for the lead tale. WHOEVER it was, Mr. Mumbo Jumbo takes his hat off to him and mumbles his thanks.
A few short years after the Topps Kirbyverse put an exclamation on a long and brilliant career as comics' number one genius, Jack Kirby sadly left us all , going on to the Valhalla he so richly deserved. Jim Salicrup went on to the aforementioned internet folly (none of which , I'm certain, was his fault) (heck, I can't even bring myself to blame lovable ol' Unca Stan!?..).Since then, I've lost touch with my old buddy, but as evidenced by material found over at he appears to be doing well. By the way, in reading over Jim's musings, I was thrilled to see myself mentioned amongst the multitude of comic book superstars that Jim has worked with over the years. Now, if I could only figure out WHICH of the "many, many more" was meant to be yours truly, I'd sleep easier at night!?! C'mon Jim-whaddaya got? Space limitations? I mean, when did Frank Miller or a Todd McFarlane ever come up with a Mr. Mumbo Jumbo for you?? Sheesh...

Aw, we love you anyway, and I hope all you cyber surfers out there enjoy the one and only recorded case from the files of Mr. Mumbo Jumbo. Could there be more in the future? Only someone with the powers and abilities of, well, you know, could tell you that!?...

Stay tuned!

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