Friday, April 24, 2009

Woolly Mammoth Covers

We all know that there are plenty of dinosaur covers out there, and putting together a collection of those will likely lead to divorce and/or bankruptcy. A slightly more realistic challenge is to collect Woolly Mammoth covers, featuring those great shaggy beasts of the Pleistocene Age.

Airboy Comics Vol. 5 #7 is a typical crazy post-WW2 issue of Airboy. Instead of enemy aviators, Airboy has to take on another kooky threat. I used to own this issue, but I cannot recall why this mammoth has green fur. Nor can I recall why Airboy has traded in his plane for a bulldozer. I also can't recall why the bulldozer is pink. Some interesting color choice at Hillman - but they do certain get the reader's attention. I do remember, however, that this issue features an origin story of the Heap. It's a nicely designed cover, and I can only assume that it was done by Ernest Shroeder.

The cover to My Greatest Adventure #44 is pretty representative of the pre-Doom Patrol era of that title. In fact, a woolly mammoth had been used on a cover just four issues prior. I'm a big Dick Dillin fan, but sometimes his cover design for these DC sci-fi/fantasy books left a little to be desired. There a funny perspective here, and it forces a very awkward pose for the human figures. Nick Cardy drew the story, so it would have been great to see how he would have designed this cover.

It seems like no matter what nutty theme I choose to track down, the fine folks at ACG always have something to contribute. Kurt Shaffenberger's cover to Midnight Mystery #6 is superb. He has squeezed a lot of action onto the cover, and it is beautifully laid out. Correct me if I'm wrong - but isn't there a scene like this from Crisis on Infinite Earths, or some other DC 'crisis in time' type book? I guess ACG decided that it had launched one mystery title too many, as this series would only last one more issue. It strikes me that Schaffenberger often drew men wearing hunting caps - is that true, or am I just imagining it?

Although people may assume that Joe Kubert did all of the covers to Weird War Tales during the late 70s and early 80s, some other artists did contribute. Among those artists is EC Legend George Evans, who drew this fantastic cover to Weird War Tales #74. I must admit that I am typically underwhelmed by much of Evans' DC output during this period - but I really, really love this cover. It's a nice tip of the hat to the War That Time Forgot era of DC war books. Perhaps these troops have landed on Rengel Island and discovered that a few of those straggler mammoths are still alive and kicking. This one is simply gorgeous.


Craig said...

Way back when, when I first started buying all sorts of odd comics for all sorts of odd reasons, I picked up Daredevil #66 simply because... it had woolly mammoths on the cover. I dig those big guys. Thanks for this cover theme feature Scott!


Scott M said...

That's the La Brea tar pit cover, right?

I'm sure if we really looked around, we'd come up with 100+ woolly mammoth covers.

craig said...

Yep, that's the one. The book's a bit of a letdown inside, but really how could it live up to the cover: Marvel's premiere noir hero mixed up with woolly mammoths...What? Gotta have it. And yes, I'm sure there are as many as you suggest out there.

Anonymous said...

The George Evans cover was done before the story was ever written. Editor Paul Levitz handed to me and asked me to script a tale which would feature this cover scene. I jumped at the chance to have a story of mine with a George Evans cover! --Jack C. Harris