COVER STORIES for 02/04/2006
COVER STORIES INSTALLMENT #39
Welcome to this 39th edition of "Cover Stories," in which I look at a number of comics covers with a common theme!
It's holiday time here at Cover Stories again... of course, this is a holiday that nobody takes off (well, at least, not as an established holiday, I'd imagine)... that holiday, of course, being Valentine's Day!
Now, I suppose it's possible that one or two of my faithful readers don't have someone special in their lives at this moment - as hard as that may be to believe, what with you readers obviously being of higher intelligence than the average person, appreciative of fine wit and possessing an innate sense of history and so on (buttering up? What buttering up?) - so I'll try to make this as painless for those of you who have not met someone discerning enough to appreciate you for the wonderful person you are...
...or you can just ignore the blathering in the previous paragraph, and enjoy this quartet of covers!
Alas, Sugar and Spike 57 is the only Valentine's Day-themed cover that I've gathered so far... which seems odd to me! One would think with all the romance comics that were published, there'd be a few with V-Day cover featured, eh?
Anyway... for this cover... wow, is that the biggest box of chocolates you've ever seen or what? Spike's mother must lead a very active life to be able to consume something like this and keep her girlish figure (but then, I suppose with those two kids - and yeah, I know Sugar isn't Spike's brother - any mother would be kept pretty busy!).
Anyone want to even try to guess how much that box weighs?
OK, on to the credits... it's all Sheldon Mayer, friends... or Shelly, as many of us know him! Shelly created the duo, along with lots of other great comics, and it's a shame that there's been no announcement of a Sugar and Spike Archives, or even Showcase Presents Sugar and Spike... not even a trade paperback! I know I'd buy any of those!
Well, let's be honest... Shelly didn't do the entire book. It starts on the inside front cover with "Don't Give Fire a Place to Start!", a PSA starring Superboy by Jack Schiff and Win Mortimer. But it's Shelly all the way after that, starting with "Valentine's Day Comes to Doll-Boy!!" (Doll-Boy was Sugar's nickname for Spike), and between chapters of that story were "Pint-Size Pin-Ups" and "Pint-Size Valentine Cards." Next up was "Little Arthur's Puppet Plot," "Write Your Own Comic Page," the Loc page (Look a all the Letters from Our Readers), "Sugar's Conscience," "Spike's Big Secret," and the issue is wrapped up with "A Visit With Sugar and Spike!," a subscription ad page.
So, as I said... I only had this one Valentine's Day-themed cover, but would I leave you high and dry with just one cover this week? I say thee nay! So, just for giggles, here's the covers to the first three issues of "Falling in Love," one of the many romance comics that used to be published!
You'll notice a trend with these covers in no time... and it was the case with most romance comics... that the cover features a woman who's been wronged by a man... the man may have stood her up (like here), or is cheating on her (sometimes with her sister or best friend), or he's just not even aware that she's in love with him!
The Grand Comics Database doesn't have much information on any of these books, unfortunately... so I can't tell you who did the cover art (or, for that matter, the stories inside). But I can tell you that the features in this issue were "Dream Love," "Unhappy Birthday," the letter column "Lovelorn Letters To You... From Carol Andrews," "How Did I Lose You?" "Flight to Heartbreak," and "Love Song," the story of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett.
Like I said, no credits on any of those... but there's a pretty good chance that Jazzy Johnny Romita (as Stan "The Man" Lee later nicknamed him when he moved over to Marvel) drew at least one of these tales - Romita did a lot of romance comics work for DC before going to the House of Ideas (although my surmise could be wrong, since I don't know off the top of my head when he started at DC).
Here's another woman suffering thanks to an uncaring cad... and this was on her wedding day, to boot! Unfortunately, I don't even have a contents listing for this issue.
Just who was DC marketing these books to, anyway - women who read comics and were rejected by men?
Ah, here's a cover with one of those guys who's tossed one chick aside and gone for a different one! The art looks a bit familiar... but I'm hesitant to guess who drew it. And isn't it just a little ironic that for this Valentine's Day column, I'm featuring a birthday cover?
A little more information is available on this issue... the first story, "One Lonely Winter," featured art by the great Mike Sekowsky, best known for his work on the Silver Age Justice League of America! This was followed by "Remember, My Love," with art by Gil Kane, then "Orpheus and Eurydice" with art by Ross Andru, "Mountain Climbing," a one-page filler, the "Lovelorn Letters" column, and lastly, "The Double Heart" (artist unknown).
Join me next time for another installment of "Cover Stories," and in the meantime, you can check out my blog at http://waffyjon.blogspot.com for other musings and ramblings by me, or email me with comments about this column at !