Aug 12, 2006

Great Comic Book Covers, Batman!

Hey kids! Slyde and I were in discussions the other day to come up with our Top 5 lists for greatest comic books adapted into film and also the greatest comic book storylines that we own in our collections.

Yeah, yeah...grown men with comic book collections. Deal with it. I have to say that I feel partially responsible for a large portion of Slyde's collection. When we met back in the early 90's, he was buying only a handful of comics each month. Then he came over to the dark side and started collecting dozens each month just like I was. We collected like that for years...going to conventions, meeting up at obscure hobby shops, rooting through back-issue bins. Then I stopped. Just about cold turkey, and I still don't think he has forgiven me.

Anyway, in anticippppation of our posts about the above sometime next week (hopefully), I decided to thumb through my comic book collection and post a little something about my Top 5 Comic Book Covers. I only considered super-hero stuff because there are just too many beautiful covers by Dave McKean, Glenn Fabry and others on some non-conventional titles. Nope, strictly dudes and dudettes in spandex here.

Click on the titles to see a scan of each cover. Here goes:

Top 5 Comic Book Covers (in my collection...that include superheroes)
1. Wonder Woman #199 (vol 1) - art by Jeffrey Jones. OK, not the creepy actor from Ferris Bueller's Day Off Jeffrey Jones, but the fantasy artist. So I cheated a little bit here because there are no actual heroes in tights on the cover, but I just love it so much. It is a simple little noirish cover that could go on just about any pulp magazine from the 50's. A little bondage. Scary dude hanging around in the background. Damsel in distress. It's got it all. I don't believe I ever opened this one up. I bought it solely on the basis of JJ's cover. Awesome!
2. Swamp Thing #7 (vol 1) - art by Bernie Wrightson. This one is great. Not only do you have the familiar horror style of Bernie Wrightson, but you have a cameo in the book and on the cover by Batman! This was also (I believe) Bernie's last work on Swampy. Too bad.
3. Amazing Spider-Man #300 - art by Todd MacFarlane. There may be other covers from Spider-man that were better, but this one was just so iconic. Spidey in the black suit, first appearance of Venom. All those 300's on the cover. OK...that last part sucked, but it was a real fine example of MacFarlane at the top of his game.
4. Marvel Premiere #15 - art by Gil Kane. I'm a sucker for cover art from the 1970's and this is one of my favorites. It's the first appearance of Iron Fist (one of my favorite characters) and the art by Kane is exceptional. Usually is with that guy, whether he is doing Batman or the Green Lantern. He always seemed to be on his game. Check out that dragon tat on his chest. Niiiiice!
5. Doom Patrol #121 (vol 1) - art by Joe Orlando. This one is a little harder to explain. I'm not a fan of Joe Orlando's work, generally. However, this one dealt with the death of the main characters in the Doom Patrol. Big tombstones on the cover with an awesome "You Decide" balloon to put the weight of these character's lives in your hands! This was at a time when you just didn't kill off your heroes. But the title was ending so it made great headlines back in the late 1960's. Turns out three of the four members were found to have not perished (shocked I tell you) when DC brought the team back together in the 1980's. That's alright. Still a great cover! And it was the sixties, so you know that Elasti-girl was hiding a little mini-skirt behind that stupid tombstone. Rowr!


elizabeth said...

See, it's funny when you don't know someone and they admit that they collect comic books. That would be like if I told you that I collected Barbies. (I don't - just an example.)
Now my mental picture of you has you in chaps and a cowboy hat, slinging a beer and reading Spiderman (with gloves on). (OH yeah - and a little fembot curled up to you on the couch reading all about Elasti-girl's demise)
Anything you want to add to that?

Verdant Earl said...

Actually, I haven't collected since the mid-late 90's, and I never wore gloves. My "collecting" was more on par with "reading". I generally only bought stuff that I read, is what I mean.

But substitute "Yankee cap" for "cowboy hat" and the rest is just about right.

Kat said...

The closest experience I have to comics is Archie and Garfield. Do they count? Oh and I was stalked via a cartoon once. Strange yet true.

Verdant Earl said...

Archie and Garfield never count. Back me up here, Slyde!

Anonymous said...

im back, from outer space...

yes, i have Earl to blame from at one point in my life spending 10 bucks a month on books, to suddenly about 90 bucks a month... thankfully, thats all in the past...

some good pics there, although i was never a big gil kane fan from when he did hulk stuff...

and i have my copy of spidey 300 signed my mcfarlane... yay for being a geek!