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Cover Stories by Jon B. Knutson
Jon Knutson presents comic book covers with a common theme
and relates any information and comments about them.

Current Installment >> Cover Stories Archives | General Forum

COVER STORIES for 08/07/2005
COVER STORIES INSTALLMENT #13

Welcome to this 13th edition of "Cover Stories," in which I look at a number of comics covers with a common theme!

Well, not this time... because every fourth column or so... it'll be time for...

Comics Never Made

As you may recall from four weeks back, when you see that additional heading, we're delving into comics that don't exist in our world, so don't look for them in your copy of Overstreet, don't even think about searching for 'em on eBay! They don't exist!

But I'll talk about them as if they do! So strap yourselves in as I set the Kurtzberg Alternative Reality Device, and let's see what we find in the back issues!

Godzilla 1

Here we have the first issue of Godzilla...

Oh, what's that? There was already a Godzilla #1?

Oh, okay... you mean the Marvel series of the 1970s, which created a Marvelized Godzilla? Or do you mean the Dark Horse stuff?

Nope, this is none of those!

Never before seen, this is the cover to Dell's Godzilla #1, based on the original black-and-white movie made by Toho!

Strangely enough, Dell didn't include this in the regular Dell Movie Classics line, but instead gave him his own title, probably intended as a one-shot!

This adaptation -- done in a hurry, to cash in on the movie -- doesn't feature quite as good a likeness of the Big G on the inside pages as they managed on this painted cover (Also, this cover doesn't appear as any of the movie posters -- but resurfaced recently for use as for the box art for a model kit). Needless to say, Steve Martin (yes, that was his name), the American reporter, bears no resemblance to Raymond Burr whatsoever. If I had to guess, I'd say the unknown writer and artist of this book only had a copy of the Americanized script, with only a few badly-printed photos to use for reference... and that the cover was done after the interiors.

The comic's a fairly straightforward retelling of the movie's story, although obviously compressed for space!

Godzilla 2

Here, Dell switched from doing original cover art to using the poster art for their adaptations of Godzilla movies.

Apparently, someone at Dell was smart enough to realize that Gigantis and Godzilla were one and the same character, just with a different distributor... hence the "No 2" on the cover.

I can't really tell for certain how close the writer and artist got to the original movie, because this is one of the few G-movies I've never seen, but it seems to capture the basic pace of the G-films.

Remarkably, the interior artwork is an improvement over the last issue... Godzilla/Gigantis looks more like Godzilla than he did in the first issue. Perhaps this was due to delays in the movie's release (they'd originally planned to film new scenes with Gigantis/Godzilla), giving Dell's artist more materials to work from.

Godzilla 3

Here we have the third entry in Dell's Godzilla comic line, adpating King Kong vs. Godzilla.

An interesting note about this: Kong only looks like his Japanese counterpart on the cover... apparently the interior artist had a hard time drawing a bad gorilla suit, so Kong looks much more like his classic RKO self!

Another interesting note is that this issue may have prompted the rumors that there were two versions of the movie, one for the US where Kong wins, and one for Japan where Godzilla wins (the reality is, it's basically a draw in the movie in every version), because the last page of this seems to indicate Kong was the winner!

This was Dell's last issue in the Godzilla series before Gold Key took over the line... my guess is Toho didn't care for the alteration in the look of Kong!

Godzilla 4

With a new publisher of the Godzilla adaptations comes other changes, such as the cover price, and the renaming of the title as "Godzilla Movie Special."

As with the Dell series, the numbering is consistent with what's been done before, and the cover art is from one of the movie posters. The art is a notch better than we'd seen in the Dell issues, and one suspects that Gold Key had a much better relationship with Toho (at least at this time) than Dell did!

Now, let's hit the "reset" switch on the Kurtzberg Alternative Reality Device, and return back to our home reality again as I wrap up this week's column. In four more weeks, we'll check the other reality again for more Godzilla comics that never were!

Join me next time for another installment of "Cover Stories," and in the meantime, you can check out my blog at waffyjon.blogspot.com for other musings and ramblings by me!

Jon B. Knutson

<< 07/31/2005 | 08/07/2005 | 08/14/2005 >>

Discuss this column with me in World Famous Comics' General Forum.


Recent Installments:
NEWESTInstallment 129: 1 - 10 - Cracked! (10/28/2007)
10/21/2007Installment 128: Clichés
10/14/2007Installment 127: Comics Never Made - Drive-In Movie Classics and Fantastic Film Classics
10/07/2007Installment 126: Circus Time
09/30/2007Installment 125: 1-10 - Challengers of the Unknown!
09/23/2007Installment 124: Ch-ch-ch-changes - And it's all Superman family titles!
09/16/2007Installment 123: Comics Never Made - Drive-In Movie Classics and Fantastic Film Classics
09/09/2007Installment 122: Reader Challenge - a reader gave me four comic book covers, and challenged me to come up with the theme!
09/02/2007Installment 121: Cartoon Stuff
08/26/2007Installment 120: Sports
08/19/2007Installment 119: 1-10 - Captain Marvel Adventures!
08/12/2007Installment 118: Comics Never Made - Five comics that never were!
08/05/2007Installment 117: Carnival
07/22/2007Installment 116: A G-g-g-g-g-ghost!
Archives >>

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