Friday, November 02, 2007

Abraham Lincoln Covers

Honest Abe met and early and violent death, but his spirit lives on (often quite literally) in funnybooks. I don’t think any President has come close to Abraham Lincoln in terms of comic book covers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he more cover appearances than all other US President combined.

Let’s start with a pretty sweet and innocent cover (although some would see just a wee hint of homo eroticism here) from Classics Illustrated. As not quite a century had passed since Lincoln’s death, it’s obvious that the good folks at Gilberton do not want to disrespect the dead. Abe’s early years are the focus of this comic, and those early years apparently included some bare chested wrestling. I’ve never been to Springfield, so I don’t know if it’s still all the rage. At least, I'm pretty sure that this is a scene from his young life, perhaps it's some sort of underground cage match with Jefferson Davis. I can't recall, haven't read this one in a while.

What a difference a few years make. We are now in the 60s and ACG’s editors obviously feel that enough time has passed for the nation to heal. Here we have a mad scientist trying to bring Abe back to life, perhaps with a view to ending the conflict in Vietnam. May I just say that I love Kurt Schaffenberger and his ACG covers as Lou Wahl as so much fun that that they should be against the law. Luckily, the mad scientist work out all of the kinks in the system on people like Martin Van Buren and Taft.

From what I can tell, President Lincoln played a supporting role for a while in the Scalphunter series from Weird Western Tales. The President would send our friend Scalpy out on missions that only a white guy dressed as an Indian could pull off. I guess they had a few too many pints of Federal Ale one night and decided to do a Civil War era version of Over the Top. I haven’t read this one, but if I ever see in for sale you can be sure that it will be added to the Lincoln collection. Nice to see George Washington making a sneaky little cameo here.

Captain America’s role as the symbol of a nation obviously doesn’t sit well with the Lincoln Memorial statue, who tries to remind the U.S. that he’s the guy that kept the country together and freed the slaves by taking down Mr. Rogers. By the time the statue from the Jefferson Memorial arrived on the scene to join in the melee, Cap and Abe had settled their differences together and decided to work together to bring down HYDRA. Anyone who has ever visited the Lincoln Memorial knows very well that you'd see a lot more than just a couple of bystanders.

I have no idea what’s going here, but it's such an awesome Joe Kubert cover that I couldn't pass it up. At first, it simply looks like the Lincoln Memorial, but wait - he's flesh coloured. Maybe the whole time, the statue has simply been an enlarged Lincoln in a stated of suspended animation. In the future, pollution got so bad that Congress voted to have a space suit place on the statue to protect Lincoln until he saw fit to return to the land of the living. Many of these late 70s/early 80s Kubert covers had little to do with the interiors, so it's possible that Lincoln doesn't even make an appearance. I've got to track this one down.


MDG14450 said...

I'm pretty sure Abe shows up on anotrher DC mystery/sf cover, but i can't think of it off-hand. Some more recent appearances are The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln and Mignola's Screw-On Head.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong when you say Lincoln was young when he died. The Father of our country was 56 years old when he was killed by the Mafia.

You Canadians need to keep doing whatever it is you do up there and leave the history of America to US Americans.


GTS said...

Very cool, Scott; I especially like the "Spaceman" Lincoln Memorial. It's signed Ernie Colon & Dick Giordano, though--are you saying it's a Kubert pastiche?

Scott M said...


ROK - I wasn't saying he was young, I just said 'early', as in he should have been allowed to finish his second term. That way, we would have all been spared Andrew Johnson.

I can't believe I said it was a Kubert cover. I really just skimmed over a bunch of thumbnails from late 70s/early 80s covers from various DC horror titles (as you know - Kubert did a ton during that period) and assumed it was him. Kubert pastiche sounds like a good way to salvage my reputation, though!