A Comic Cover A Day (is awesome)

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    edited September 12
    Marvel, and Kirby in particular, really started gearing up in 1963. He was all over the place, and if he wasn’t drawin the interior of a book, he was probably at least drawing the cover. Avengers, Spider-Man, X-Men, and Sgt. Fury all had new solo titles launch, but I think my favorite of Kirby’s covers this year might be the final (for now) issue of The Incredible Hulk (Jan. 1963), inked by Dick Ayers.

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    edited September 13
    I don't think there’s any question that Avengers #4 is the best cover Kirby drew in 1964—it’s certainly the most iconic. But we've all seen it a million times, so here’s Fantastic Four #33 (Dec. 1964) instead, featuring one of Kirby’s krazy kollages. Inks of the figures and buildings by Chic Stone.

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  • The Thing looks like he's hittin' the whip.

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  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,165
    Get up on it Ben Grimm.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    It was towards the end of 1965 when Kirby entered his peak period at Marvel. But before we get there, how about this cover to Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #16 (Mar. 1965)? Going through every cover to pick one to represent a year in Kirby’s career, I’ve developed a much greater appreciation for Chic Stone’s inking over Kirby. It’s so simple, but so bold and energetic, and this cover is no exception. But what really puts this cover over the top for me is Stan Goldberg’s coloring. Stunning. You can almost feel the heat of the desert coming off the image. I hate to harp on this, but color being used as a storytelling element is something we don't get nearly enough of these days.

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  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,834

    I’ve developed a much greater appreciation for Chic Stone’s inking over Kirby. It’s so simple, but so bold and energetic, and this cover is no exception. But what really puts this cover over the top for me is Stan Goldberg’s coloring. Stunning. You can almost feel the heat of the desert coming off the image. I hate to harp on this, but color being used as a storytelling element is something we don't get nearly enough of these days

    Agree. Agree. Agree.

  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,165
    edited September 14

    It was towards the end of 1965 when Kirby entered his peak period at Marvel. But before we get there, how about this cover to Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #16 (Mar. 1965)? Going through every cover to pick one to represent a year in Kirby’s career, I’ve developed a much greater appreciation for Chic Stone’s inking over Kirby. It’s so simple, but so bold and energetic, and this cover is no exception. But what really puts this cover over the top for me is Stan Goldberg’s coloring. Stunning. You can almost feel the heat of the desert coming off the image. I hate to harp on this, but color being used as a storytelling element is something we don't get nearly enough of these days.

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    This reminds me of the Boy Commandos Rising Sun cover you posted. The color invokes everything you are supposed to see and feel. The color just make you feel the oppression of the heat and misery of the Howling Commandos. Thanks @nweathington I really like this one too.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    1966 brought the Inhumans, the Silver Surfer and Galactus, the Black Panther, Thor’s cosmic adventure (the peak of Kirby’s run on Thor), “This Man... This Monster”, and so much more. And those stories featured some nice covers, but not necessarily Kirby’s best. One that stands out for me is Tales of Suspense #80 (Aug. 1966). Don Heck’s rougher inking really works in representing the chaotic maelstrom unleashed by the Cosmic Cube. Kirby’s Red Skull figure is fantastic, especially the feathered lines of his right arm holding the Cube (and Heck did a nice job of translating it). Just look at all the groups of lines throughout the Skull’s figure, each group going in a different direction. The Skull himself is a depiction of chaos. Good stuff.

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    The great Basil Gogos passed away on Thursday. He was best know, of course for his cover paintings for Famous Monsters of Filmland, but this is a comic cover thread, so here are a few of his covers for Warren: Creepy #26 (Apr. 1969), The Spirit #1 (Apr. 1974), and Eerie #121 (June 1981). The last cover was Gogos painting over Vaughan Bode’s linework. I'm not much of a horror fan, but I love the old monter movies and a lot of the gothic horror of ’50s, and ’60s, so I’ve always had an appreciation for Gogos’ work. And he always made interesting color choices that added to the image.

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  • My #6 oldest comic (that was bought off the stands for me before the age of 5)...

    Avengers #67, on stands 6/17/69
    Pencils: Sal Buscema
    Inks: Sam Grainger

    The cover disappeared so early on this one that I didn't even recognize the cover for many years. Hey, I was under four years old when I got this one, and it shows with the enthusiastic coloring and writing throughout the interior! I did eventually obtain a new copy of the book and had it signed by Roy Thomas many years ago at Heroes Con. (I would have had him sign the original, if I'd had it with me!) Roy wrote the story, with action-packed interior art by Barry Windsor-Smith. I think I've always loved the "Goliath" version of Hawkeye, the Vision, and Ultron because of this comic! Still not my earliest Avengers, though...

    The splash page is from my original, coverless copy, as denoted by my NAME written at the top. (ha) This was part of my custom calendar this year, too!


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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    By the time 1967 rolled around, Kirby was doing far fewer covers. FF and Thor were his only regular cover gigs, though he pitched in on a handful of covers for other titles as well. None of those were better than his cover for Not Brand Echh! #1 (Aug. 1967), inked by Mike Esposito.

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    In 1968 the bloom was beginning to fall from the rose for Kirby at Marvel. He carries on with his three regular books: Fantastic Four; Thor; and Captain America, now in his own title; and little else. But one of those other jobs happens to be the cover for a reprint book, featuring my favorite of Kirby’s ’60s work, Tales of Asgard #1 (Oct. 1968), inked by Frank Giacoia (and possible some with some reinking by John Verpoorten).

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  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,834
    Beautiful
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    1969 was even more contentious than 1968 for Kirby at Marvel, though now Captain America was taken from him. Otherwise it was an eventful year, beginning with a move from New York to California, and ending with a meeting with Carmine Infantino to discuss the possibility of a move from Marvel to DC. After getting stiffed on payment for work done for Marvelmania, Joe Simon settling with Marvel over Captain America for a—unbeknownst to Kirby—larger amount of money than Kirby would receive, and Kirby’s unsuccessful attempt to secure a better contract with Marvel, Kirby—like Ben Grimm in one of this year’s FF storylines—was ready to put on the sparring gloves. Here’s Fantastic Four #92 (Nov. 1969), inked by Joe Sinnott.

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  • My #5 oldest comic (that was bought off the stands for me before the age of 5)...

    Avengers #60, on stands 11/12/68
    Pencils: John Buscema
    Inks: George Klein
    (Per GCD, there were alterations on Ringmaster's face and arm by John Romita.)

    This is the earliest Avengers I had as a kid. I actually don't remember owning the individual issue, but there's a family picture where the top of it is peeking out from under our toybox. However, I still loved this story, as it appeared in the Avengers Treasury Edition. I bought that Treasury off the stands a few years later.

    Not my original copy below -- likely, the original went into the trash before I was old enough to focus on saving my comics.


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  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,834



    My #5 oldest comic (that was bought off the stands for me before the age of 5)...

    Avengers #60, on stands 11/12/68
    Pencils: John Buscema
    Inks: George Klein
    (Per GCD, there were alterations on Ringmaster's face and arm by John Romita.)

    This is the earliest Avengers I had as a kid. I actually don't remember owning the individual issue, but there's a family picture where the top of it is peeking out from under our toybox. However, I still loved this story, as it appeared in the Avengers Treasury Edition. I bought that Treasury off the stands a few years later.

    Not my original copy below -- likely, the original went into the trash before I was old enough to focus on saving my comics.


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    One of my favorites. Love the classic floating head covers from Buscema and the bullpen in that era.
  • @bralinator It was especially awesome at Treasury size. As was the Lady Liberators story also in that Treasury!
  • RobAndersonRobAnderson Posts: 537
    edited September 24

    My #4 oldest comic (that was bought off the stands for me before the age of 5)...

    Spooky #106, on stands 7/15/68
    Art; Warren Kremer (probably)

    I was shocked to discover I still own this one! This is my copy below, and it's officially the oldest comic I STILL own that was originally bought off the stands for me.

    A true bit of 60's/70's history, with "hippies" on the cover scaring Spooky. Not really sure how I ended up with this one...or how it lasted through several collection purges over the year.

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167



    My #4 oldest comic (that was bought off the stands for me before the age of 5)...

    Spooky #106, on stands 7/15/68
    Pencils: ?
    Inks: ?

    I was shocked to discover I still own this one! This is my copy below, and it's officially the oldest comic I STILL own that was originally bought off the stands for me.

    A true bit of 60's/70's history, with "hippies" on the cover scaring Spooky. Not really sure how I ended up with this one...or how it lasted through several collection purges over the year.

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    Nice! This is almost certainly Warren Kremer art. 1) He drew nearly every Harvey cover, and 2) he’s the only one I know for sure drew Spooky’s cheeks that long and droopy.
  • RobAndersonRobAnderson Posts: 537
    edited September 24
    Thanks @nweathington ! Figures you would know.... I updated the post accordingly.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    Ironically, Kirby’s last cover for Marvel (for several years anyway) was for a reprint book, reprinting Kirby interior pencils for which he would receive no royalties or payment of any kind. In fact, in 1970 Kirby had more of his old covers reprinted (with alterations made in the bullpen) for Marvel’s plethora of reprint books (mostly monster titles), than he did new covers. Here’s Marvel’s Greatest Comics #28 (Aug. 1970), inks by John Verpoorten.

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    And just for comparison, Kirby’s cover for the story’s original printing in Fantastic Four #36, inks by Chic Stone.

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  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,167
    For the casual comic fan in 1971, it must have seemed like Kirby still worked for Marvel. Marvel reprinted 30 (!) Kirby covers throughout the year—for which Kirby received no money of course. Meanwhile, over at DC, Kirby pounded out 28 brand-new covers to go along with the four titles he was writing and drawing interiors for. That’s a lot of Kirby! Though Kirby’s first new story for DC was for Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, the cover for that book was drawn by Neal Adams. Kirby’s first cover instead was for Forever People #1, but I like the cover for Forever People #2 (Apr.-May 1971) better—dig the Kirby kollage! Kirby did collages for the backgrounds of several of the early Fourth World books (maybe so Vince Colletta, who inked this cover, wouldn’t erase anything :wink: ).

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