Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Gil Kane Cover of the Month: Best of DC #44

Unless you are an avid digest collector and/or Legion complelist (I'm both), you may not have seen this Gil Kane cover before. I love Kane's work, but I often feel that many of his 80s covers at DC lack the spark and imagination that we see in his earlier work. There's often a bit of a 'rushed' feeling to them, and his inking had become minimalistic to the point of faces looking almost blank. There are some real gems, however, from this period and this is one of them. This book reprints some terrific Legion stories from the 60s, and Kane's cover reflects the charm and whimsy of that series. Its very simplicity is what makes it so appealing to my eyes, and perfectly suited to the smaller format. I'll try to show covers from various eras as this feature progresses, so that we get a good feeling for what Kane was doing over the years.


Andrew Wahl said...


Kane is one of those artists I just seem to appreciate more as I get older. I'm actually quite fond of his later work, as it had a sort of minimalist power to it. I recently picked up a late-Bronze-Age issue of Action Comics he did and was reminded how much I like his '80s stuff. Sword of the Atom is another great example of this later work.


davidbstewart said...

Kane from this period is my absolute FAVORITE. His Superman and Sword of the Atom just sucked me in. If I'm not mistaken, many of the Superman issues were done specifically for the German market and then reprinted in North America. 83ish - 86 was a definite resurgent period for Kane.

Scott M said...

I should clarify that I do love a lot of Kane's work during this period. The Sword of the Atom stuff is terrific. I do feel, however, that some of his covers were uninspired in the mid-80s. They sometimes lack the 'Pow!' of his earlier work. I will feature more from this era, though - as there's lot of interesting stuff to discuss, including a Wonder Woman cover with which I am enamored.

Richard J. Marcej said...

Since a bulk of my young comic reading took place in the 1970's I was a HUGE fan of all those Kane covers he did for Marvel then. As a young artist too, I tended to think how devoted he must have been, to do so much (good to great) work.

When I found out many years later, that the reason he did so much work then, was to help pay for a divorce, well...

It doesn't diminish his work at all! But it did take off some of the luster.

macsnafu said...

I liked the digest-sized comics--cheap reprints of good stories--and picked up many of them for a while, but this is one that I missed.
Alas, my eyesight isn't what it used to be, and those digest-sized comics are too small to enjoyably read without amplification in the form of reading glasses.