Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mount Rushmore Covers

Spy Smasher is one of the Golden Age heroes who had a tough time due to the end of WW2. After a brief revamp as Crime Smasher, he checked into the Home for Obscure Golden Age Heroes. There were some lovely covers during this title's short run, and the cover to Spy Smasher #5 (June 24, 1942) is no exception. The GCD suggests that it was by Gus Ricca, and I can't really argue with that but I'm open to hear other suggestions. The brushwork and colouring are sublime. Is this the earliest example of a Mt. Rushmore cover?

Truth be told, I've never owned nor read The Owl #2 (April, 1968) but, after seeing this cover, how can I not add it to my want list. Who are the Terror Twins? What are they doing with Lincoln's head? Where did they get those awesome gyro-bikes? I know that it was failed attempt to bring superhero comics to Gold Key by Jerry Siegel, but beyond that I don't know much else. Is this character even remotely connected to The Owl of the 40s? I see that Tom Gill, one of my all-time faves, provides the artwork so it can't be all bad.

For one reason or another, the TV show ALF never did much for me back in the 80s. I do, however, get a good chuckle at many of the covers from this series. I am not sure what ALF was up to on his vacation featured in ALF Annual #1 (1988), but I'm certain that it is wonderfully rendered as Marvel saw fit to hire two of the greatest humour book artists of all-time (Dave Manak and Marie Severin) to provide the pencils and inks. According to the GCD, the High Evolutionary takes part in ALF's adventures herein. Consider my mind blown.

I've always loved the perspective on the cover to Incredible Hulk #239 (September, 1979). The bird's eye view is very unique, and the Hulk seems to be descending upon Mt. Rushmore at a fantastic rate of speed. One of my favourite things about the Hulk is his leaping ability, but it has been underutilized by many writers and artists. Milgrom does a nice job here, although his Presidents don't look 100% accurate. I do like the concerned look on General Washington's face, though.

Let's finish off with this gorgeous painted cover by Norman Mingo for Mad #31 (February, 1957). I've never been to Mt. Rushmore, but I imagine that it is sufficiently popular that you cannot simply hop out of your car for a picture. It blows my mind to look at the credits for old Mad magazines, as this issue has 10+ pages from both Wally Wood and Jack Davis and even has a couple of Basil Wolverton pages thrown in for good measure. Personally, I think Mr. Neuman looks right at home up there.


M W Gallaher said...

Scott, I've got that issue of The Owl. It was listed as one of the worst comics of all time in an article in The Monster Times in the early 70's, and after reading that, I'd always wanted it! I can't remember whether that incarnation of the Owl was explicitly linked to the Golden Age character, though. I know Don Glut brought The Owl back in an issue of Dr. Spektor, and there he *was* tied to the Golden Age version.
Alas, I can't praise Gill's work in this one, as best I recall the work. It was in that simplified, juvenile, clueless style that Gold Key often employed in that era.

Rick Diehl said...

Hi Scott

Rick D here.

Friend me on FACEBOOK, and come join the secret CBR society we have going on over there.

I'd really like to stay in touch.

In the meanwhyile I dded your site to my blog roll and I have a new version of His Name is Studd running as well..


Any way you want to, go ahead and get in touch.

Hope the Summer is treating you well.


sewa mobil said...

Very nice, thanks for sharing.

Scott M said...

Hey Rick

I'm not on Facebook - but I am on twitter @scottclickers
I've added your blog to my blog roll too. I'll shoot you an email.

Michael - I can imagine that Gill's art was a bit by the numbers on that book. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the Witching Hour #84, which adds a skull to the four presidents!

--Thelonious Nick