Nyoka the Jungle Girl
Nyoka the Jungle Girl is a fictional character created for the screen in the 1941 serial Jungle Girl, starring Frances Gifford as Nyoka Meredith. The character of Nyoka is often described as having been created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. But although the serial was officially based on Burroughs' story "Jungle Girl"—which first appeared in the pulp magazine Blue Book and later was published as a novel—there is no character named Nyoka and no Nyoka-like character in the original story. The movie's credits list Burroughs along with six other writers, but his input on creating the film character was obviously minimal, because the studio later was able to use the name "Nyoka" in a sequel without crediting Burroughs at all. After the initial film, Nyoka appeared in comic books published by Fawcett, Charlton, and AC Comics.
The short story that led to the creation of Nyoka was "The Land of Hidden Men" by Edgar Rice Burroughs in the May 1931 issue of Blue Book. The short story was later expanded into the novel Jungle Girl, published in 1932. The novel was set in Cambodia, and the main character was an Asian princess called Fou-tan. Aside from living in a jungle region, she bore no relation to the later Nyoka character, a white woman living in Africa.
Fawcett Comics used the film version of Nyoka as the basis for Jungle Girl comics. Issue #1 appeared in 1942; the character appeared irregularly until 1953, when Fawcett ceased publication
Nyoka was one of the intellectual properties sold to Charlton by Fawcett in the 1950s after the National Comics Publications v. Fawcett Publications lawsuit. Her first Charlton appearance was in Nyoka, Jungle Girl #14 (November 1955). Her final Charlton appearance was issue #22 (November 1957).
Once Charlton Comics ceased publication, Nyoka's rights were sold again. AC Comics purchased the rights from Charlton in 1987, though their rights to do so were somewhat dubious. Nyoka appeared in AC Comics The Further Adventures of Nyoka the Jungle Girl; there were five issues printed between 1988 and 1989, consisting mostly of reprints and movie stills. Nyoka has since appeared in other AC Comics' titles.
Appearances in movie serials
The 1941 serial Jungle Girl though having little to do with the novel, was popular enough to inspire a sequel. In 1942, the serial Perils of Nyoka debuted, starring Kay Aldridge as Nyoka Gordon. Besides the surname, some other details about the character were changed slightly.