Friday, July 22, 2005

SF Comic Books with Painted Covers!

A lot of comic companies in the 50's & 60's used painted covers, as opposed to line art. Most notably, Gold Key and Dell, but some other companies also used them on occasion. Marvel and DC pretty much avoided them, allthough Marvel would later use them with great effect on their magazine line in the 70's.

Let's have a look at some, shall we?

First up are the first and last issues of DELLs' "SPACEMAN" from the 1960s with beautiful covers. Love those spacesuits with the bright red diving tanks. Also the similar "dope-on-a-rope" background buddy doing the obligatory spacewalk on both covers.

Drift Marlo was (i believe) a relatively short-lived newspaper strip with a "Man Into Space" theme that was popular in the late 50's & early 60's. The interior story and art in all these books is nothing to write home about, but these covers are just gorgeous.

Look at that poor space monkey! I sure hope that Drift can get to him in time!

Also popular in this period were adaptions of popular TV shows. While the content ranged from terrible to good, the covers were always excellent.

This Outer Limits comic is just plain stupid, but the execution of the surreal cover scene has to be seen to be believed! That's sure a swell homemade time machine the kid's in by the way. Just another boy genius, i guess.

Gold Key, on the whole, had better interior artists than Dell, plus the added appeal of being...well...kinda weird, or skewed at least. Some of their earlier titles would feature the cover painting without type as a "pin-up". Check out these two from Twilight Zones #3 & #8.

In later years, the back cover pin-ups eventually went the way of advertising, but the front covers were still pretty hot.

Even ol' Boris Karloff got in on the act with his long running book, which atarted out as an adaption of his "THRILLER" TV show, but underwent a title change when the book ended up at Gold Key after the shows cancellation. Watch out! It's a giant killer snail!

Finally, almost as though as to proove my point about Gold Keys' weirdness, here's the covers from 3 issues of
"M.A.R.S. TOTAL WAR", which I must ashamedly confess was one of my favorite comics as a kid. Nuff said!

Just look at the expression on this guys face! Wow man, now that's what I call TOTAL war!

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