Friday, June 11, 2010

Fake Book Covers

Here's an interesting design for comic book covers that has popped up every now and then over the decades. Let's take a look at a few examples.

Comics Novel #1 (1947) featuring the superbly named Anarcho, Dictator of Death, is one of the most interesting Golden Age comics books I've ever encountered. To be clear, I have never actually seen a copy but I do recall reading about it back in Comic Book Marketplace in a Pat Calhoun article. It was written by the great Otto Binder and is an early example of a villain taking the starring role. Underappreciated Golden Age artist provided this wonderfully designed cover and all of the interior artwork.

A few years later, Fox published A Feature Presentation #5 (1950), which was the only issue of the series. Fox later put out an adaptation of Moby Dick under a similar title. To be perfectly honest, I don't know the first thing about this particular comic book, but I really do love how the price has been slashed down from $1 to a mere dime. Those folks at Fox certainly were generous. If it is likely most Fox books I've seen, the interior artwork/story won't live up to the cover. Good concept, though.

Simon and Kirby got in the game with the cover to In Love #1 (September, 1954). Again, like the two earlier examples, they are really pitching the fact that it is a book length novel, and that is perhaps why they've decided to disguise it as a hardcover book. It a nicely designed piece by Kirby, and the second issue also has a similar look. I don't think that Kirby ever did another one like these. Boy, would ever loved to see all of the Mainline output collected in one volume.

Our Army at War #148 (November, 1964), featured a fake book cover by Joe Kubert. This was the second chapter of a two parter, as the previous issue also has this type of cover. There are some really interesting cover designs on this series, and these two are no exception. The story was reprinted in Sgt. Rock Special #4, but they declined to commission a cover in this vein. That's too bad.

The terrific cover to Tomb of Dracula #56 (May, 1977) by Gene Colan & Tom Palmer is a perfect fit for the storyline. The enthusiastic Harold H. Harold has penned a book on every one's favourite vampire (remember, these are the pre-Team Edward days), so it is a great opportunity to revive the 'fake book' cover. I wonder what ever happened to Harold. Did he ever return to the Marvel Universe?

So, there's a bunch of them to track down. I can think of a few others (including the three Wonder Woman covers from the early 80s and some of the Fast Fiction covers), but they never really caught on.


Anonymous said...

Harold from TOD was turned into a vampire and rendered into dust in the 1980's Doctor Strange comic

benday-dot (craig) said...

Book covers... I've always been intrigued by these as well Scott. For even earlier cover designs of this ilk, and Simon and Kirby again to boot, check out Stuntman from 1946. As always, great stuff. Craig

Scott M said...

I can't believe I forgot about that Stuntman cover. That's the one that got me thinking about this type of cover in the first place!