COVER STORIES for 09/10/2006
COVER STORIES INSTALLMENT #70
All right, faithful readers (and also those of you reading this column for the first time), welcome to another edition of "Cover Stories!"
For those of you joining us for the first time, let me briefly explain the purpose of this column: Each week, I present four or five comic book covers with a common theme, point out whatever I feel like pointing out, and provide you with whatever info on the books these covers are from! And then, about every fourth or fifth column, I also present the feature "Comics They Never Made," in which I share some comics never published in this reality... some of which maybe should have been, and others which it's probably just as well they weren't!
This time around, it's a standard column, and one in which I'm revisiting a theme which I've covered before... "Drawing a Crowd!" These four covers feature a character on the cover drawing something which has an impact on what else is happening! (Yes, I know that last week's column promised another "Comics They Never Made" entry - my mistake!)
Take for example, this first cover... Beware #11!
You can see how the theme works here... a comic book artist has drawn a page for a horror comic, only to have to face the creatures he's drawn in real life! This cover was penciled and drawn by Myron Fass, who's gained some notoriety with comics historians (he was behind the really awful "Split-Zam!" android Captain Marvel of the 1960s).
Inside this book were the following features: "Ghostly Sacrifice," with art by Art Gates, "Cry Danger" with art by Marty Elkin, "His Own Funeral" with art by Leo Morey and Edward Moritz, and "Dwellers in Darkness" with art by Jay Disbrow. Obviously, "Cry Danger" is the cover-featured story!
Moving on... here's The Brave and the Bold #124, probably one of the weirdest B&B issues ever!
Yes, as you can see from the cover, which was drawn by Jim Aparo, artist Jim Aparo is drawing a cover for Brave and the Bold! And that's only the beginning of the strangeness of this issue!
Believe it or not, the cover illustration is not symbolic - this basically happens in the story itself! "Small War of the Super Rifles" was written by Bob Haney, with full art by Jim Aparo. Batman and Sgt. Rock team up to deal with a villain intent on stealing super rifles... and that's the normal part! Also going on is this same villain trying to stop Batman and Rock by forcing Jim Aparo and Bob Haney to change the story as it happens! Murray Boltinoff also appears in this story, as Aparo and Haney avoid the bad guys in order to finish the story off with the Brave and Bold ones defeating the bad guys!
Trust me, if you've never read this story... you owe it to yourself to pick it up and read it! Sadly, it's not been reprinted, but you should be able to find a back issue of it cheaply (I think the copy I used to have was purchased from a quarter box at a comic show!).
Batman wasn't the only hero to be affected by an artist's work, though... his fellow Justice Leaguer, the Flash, also dealt with an artist's creativity gone amok in issue 248 of his own title!
As you can see, this kid, Barney Sands, has created a master villain who somehow becomes real and attacks the Flash! This cover was done by Rich Buckler and Frank Springer. Inside, "Challenge of the Cardboard Criminal!" was written by Cary Bates, with art by Irv Novick and Frank McLaughlin. Oh, and believe it or not, that villain was actually called Master Villain!
Unfortunately, it's been so long since I read this issue, I don't recall how this kid's creation became real, or how Barry Allen defeated him.
And to wrap things up... here's Forbidden Worlds 108!
Yep, this one takes the whole theme even more literally... as the exact scene that's being painted is taking place even as it's being done! OK, I know, while the artist is holding a paint brush, the "painting" appears to be a pencil and ink drawing... but let's not get too nitpicky, okay?
This cover was done by Ogden Whitney, who was one of ACG's mainstays. Inside this issue, the stories were "Space Sissy" by Shane O'Shea and Whitney (a Herbie derivative, according to the Grand Comics Database), "Facing the Future" with art by Whitney, "Strange Visit" (which appears to be a text story), and finally, the cover feature, "The Man Who Painted Destiny" by Richard Hughes (as Pierre Alonzo) and Paul Reinman - odd, isn't it, that the only part of the book not drawn by Whitney is the cover feature!
Join me next time for another installment of "Cover Stories," in which I'll revisit another theme, "Dreams," 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 !