COVER STORIES for 10/29/2006
COVER STORIES INSTALLMENT #77
All right, faithful readers (and also those of you reading this column for the first time), welcome to another edition of "Cover Stories!"
This time around, the topic is "Get In The Picture," and features photography on comics covers - and variations thereof!
So... as you should be used to by now, I'm leading off with a Superman cover!
Here's Action Comics 133, featuring Superman being photographed by an unnamed (or at least, unrecognizable) photographer, courtesy of artist Al Plastino, one of the great early Superman artists!
So, who is the Helen on this cover? A time-traveling Helen of Troy, whose face launched a thousand ships? A super-being of some kind? Unfortunately, the Grand Comics Database (at http://www.comics.org -- to whom I'm always grateful for the info they provide for this column) only says that "The World's Most Perfect Girl" was written by William Woolfolk, with art by Al Plastino.
Nor can I find any info on it in the several minutes of web surfing I attempted!
Also in this issue: Tommy Tomorrow in "Hollywood of Space" by Otto Binder and Curt Swan, a Little Pete filler by Henry Boltinoff, Congo Bill in "The Man Who Hunted Thrills" by Ed Smalle, a Jerry Jitterbug filler by Boltinoff, and The Vigilante in "The Gold Rush Comes to Gotham City" by John Broome and Dan Barry (and no, I don't know if it's acknowledged that Gotham City is Batman's stomping grounds).
So, let's instead turn the camera on Adventure Comics 94, featuring the Sandman and Sandy! This great cover image is apparently by Jack Kirby (at least, that's the GCD's best guess)!
I love this cover... and I know this basic premise has been used a few times since this comic, with the heroes being reflected in a camera lens! And the photographer's face is pretty intense, isn't it?
Inside this issue, the Sandman stars in "Reincarnation of a Rogue" by Joe Samachson and Gil Kane, the Shining Knight stars in "Ancestor Unknown" by Samachson and Louis Cazeneuve, Starman is featured in "Stars Fell on Allie Bammer" by Samachson and Emil Gershwin, Genius Jones stars in "The Puzzle of the Tired Pigeons" by Whitney Ellsworth and Stan Kaye, and finally, Mike Gibbs, Guerilla in "The Battle of Ti Liang" by Samachson and Ed Good - yep, Samachson wrote everything in this issue other than the Genius Jones tale!
OK, let's look at a cover that has a different take on "Getting Into the Picture" - Adventures Into the Unknown 116!
How's this for a difference! A Hollywood director being pulled into his movie! While this device has been used in movies in the past 20 years or so, so far as I'm aware this could easily have been the first instance of it anywhere!
Perennial ACG artist Ogden Whitney did the cover for this issue. Presumably, "The Man Who Vanished" is the cover story, and was by Bob Standish and Paul Reinman. Also in this issue, "Illusion or Reality?" by Kurt Schaffenberger (apparently a reprint from another book), "Out of the Unknown" by Curt Carpenter and Al Williamson, and "The Sands of Time" by Brad Everson and John Forte.
And, let's wrap up this installment with a Comic Cavalcade cover - issue 21, to be exact!
See? Haven't I told you before that there's a Wonder Woman cover for nearly any theme? Here's this one, with her appearing with the Golden Age Flash and Green Lantern, who appear to be trying to make their catch look more impressive, eh? (You'd think that GL would be able to power ring the fish to a larger size)
This cover was by E.E. Hibbard. Of course, this trio of heroes don't appear together in any of the stories inside, which were: Wonder Woman in "The Siege of the Flying Mermaids" by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter, some Mutt and Jeff newspaper reprints by Al Smith (as Bud Fisher), Just a Story featuring "Behind the 8-Ball" by Howard Purcell, more Mutt and Jeff, Flash in "The Making of a Reporter" with art by Martin Naydel, Hop Harrigan in "Mixy Pixy Brews a Bruise" by Jon L. Blummer, O'Malley the Cop by Irwin Hasen, the text story "The Finger of Fate" by Cliff Rhodes, still more Mutt and Jeff, and Green Lantern in "The Man Who Couldn't Fail" by John Broome and Paul Reinman.
Join me next time for another installment of "Cover Stories," which will be the a return to the theme "Going to the Chapel" -- 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 !