Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Lilliputian Bondage Covers

As I flipped through a stack of Kamandis, one cover in particular jumped out at me. Kamandi is tied down in a most Swiftian way. It occurred to me that I had seen some other covers that paid homage to Gulliver’s Travels, with a large central feature at the mercy of a group of miniature people with a bondage fetish. A few other covers with this them came to mind (as well as Alex Toth’s splash to Brave and Bold #53), but I am certain there must be others.

The aforementioned Kamandi #45 cover by Ernie Chan is from the post-Kirby era, a period in which there was cover to suite almost every theme. Wrap-around Snake Cover? Check! VW Beetle Cover? We have that! Giant Crab Cover? Look no further! Kamandi faced a lot of threatening creatures during the 70s, but these tiny humans really seem to be giving him a tough time. I’m normally not the biggest Ernie Chan fan, as his covers have a really generic feel to them, but I like the overall design here.

Like Kamandi, Turok and Andar faced every threat imaginable on a monthly basis, so it only makes sense that they’d eventually run into some little people with a lot of rope in Turok, Son of Stone #17. Andar seems to have drawn the short straw, but luckily the pygmies are so engrossed in their knot-tying that they have not noticed Turok striking a ‘Blue Steel’ pose while try to move the mountain out of the way. All kidding aside, this is one gorgeous painted cover. I believe this cover was reprinted during the Gold Key years.

One of the best covers from the pre-Hero age at Marvel is Jack Kirby’s cover to Tales of Suspense #20. The Colossus is a classic Kirby monster, and it’s obvious that he wields a bit more strength than Swift’s Gulliver. The ship’s captain and the first mate don’t seem to be on the same page in terms of dealing with Colossus, so that might explain why the rest of the crew seems so disorganized. This cover is simply a thing of beauty and might be the finest of all Lilliputian Bondage Covers.

The cover to Justice League of America #215 is pretty much the antithesis of the Kirby cover. Both have a ton of action and characters, but George Perez’s cover here is irritatingly noisy. While I love the notion of a normally microscopic Atom super-sized, the perspective is really jarring and the ‘up the nose’ shot just doesn’t work if it’s not from Gil Kane. Superb concept, but poor execution. This cover teaches us that a Lilliputian Bondage cover is a fickle thing, and must be mapped out carefully from the beginning. Sorry George – quite often your crowd shots work, but this one simply does not.

There’s a quick look at Lilliputian Bondage Covers – I’d love to hear of any other that you’ve stumbled upon.

1 comment:

benday-dot said...

Great pickup on a theme Scott. Does the cover of Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #111 count. It's just a little bit on the kinky side, I'd always felt as far as these liliputian bondage works go. But whatever that says about me I kind of like it. All the DC characters tying up poor Lois using their various areas of expertise! Craig