ISSUE #32: Excelsior!
Welcome back to another edition of Cover Tunes, ladies and gents of CBSI. Before I proceed any further, I believe a moment of silence is in order…
Excelsior! Rest in peace, Stan Lee.
As we all mourn the passing of one of the giants of comics, perhaps the most giant of them all, I hope we can all agree, whether we are Marvel fans, DC fans or ‘other,’ that we have lost a man who has changed the face of most of our lives, comics, pop culture and (dare I say it) literature, forever. With that, this week's first cover is a bonus and it is in tribute to Stan the Man…
*** BONUS ***
PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – November, 1983
ARTIST: Ron Zalme
While everyone on ebay tries to snag Marvel Age #41, right now, one might want to look at this little Stan Lee gem hiding in the rough. This is a fun cover and celebrates all that was great about the man who changed the comics medium, forever. This week, it may be tough to snag anything Stan-related on the cheap, but if there is one, it’ll be this one.
With that, here is my regular intro and five cover pics for the week, below.
As we wind down from Halloween and Con Season and gear up for the holidays and a few pretty big events in film as well as in comics, I have a few new beauties for you all that can be gotten with the change in your couch cushions (once you sift through all of the Halloween candy wrappers, that is).
Looks like many of you fell in love with Frison’s The Beauty #1B cover from last week as more than 20 copies sold off of the Bay, last week (granted, most were $4.40 copies from mycomicshop… They kept listing groups of two that kept selling out). I’m always so happy when you all latch on to one of these and buy the crap out of it. These artists deserve the love.
Lots of option news over the past few weeks, specifically from Vertigo books Invisibles and Survivor’s Club (see below). I love the newly-rediscovered admiration for Vertigo. Maybe we will eventually really get that Sandman movie that has been teased for many years. My fingers are crossed for it, that’s for sure. That coupled with some inferno-like spec on Antarctic Press titles and some Walking Dead shenanigans, we are a little all over the place with comics, this week.
So, if you’re like me and frustrated that your LCS didn’t even bother to order Rags (again) or Punchline, let’s drown our collective melancholy together and settle into some amazing covers you may have bypassed. I’ve featured a few, this week, that I’ve been holding back for many months and I’m very excited to finally have them on here. I hope you agree that they’re fan-flippin’-tastic.
Here we go…
PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – February, 2004
ARTIST: Mike Mayhew
Mayhew is built for painting women. His Vampi covers are incredible and get a lot of love, already (especially the virgin variant versions), but these Mystiques are just as good. Actually, check out his She-Hulk covers, too, if you like the look of brightly colored women.
This cover's contrast and vantage point make it a an amazing study of what ‘works' on a cover. I think my favorite aspect of this one is the shadow work. Too often, artists neglect shadows. When they're present, they add great realism and depth. That definitely holds true, here.
With all things “X” popping back up on people's respective radars with Uncanny re-launching, this week, two movies coming at us, soon, and the fox buy-out, collectors will be clamoring for beautiful covers that have been neglected for far too long. I think this one (and, frankly, Mayhew's whole Mystique run) will be among them. They're all cheap, cheap, at the moment.
PUBLISHED: DC Comics (Vertigo) – August, 2016
ARTIST: Bill Sienkiewicz
Any excuse for me to feature a Sink cover, right? Well, actually, I’m featuring this specifically because of the recent option of Survivor’s Club, but this cover is really freaking creepy in an awesome Victorian way. It has that photo-realism style that Sienkiewicz plays with from time to time. Some people love it and others don’t, but for this series it works exceptionally well.
PUBLISHED: Archie Comic Publications (Archie Horror) – July, 2015
ARTIST: Francesco Francavilla
With the popularity of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Netflix series, people are once again gravitating toward all of these Francavilla covers. His work all around for Archie Horror has been amazeballs. Check out Vampironica and his Chilling Adventures of Sabrina covers, too, but I think his work on these Afterlife covers are his best.
Something about this specific one really speaks to me and has such an awesome Mod film poster style to it. It's cool, it's creepy, it's bold… in short, it crushes. The concentric circle motif give it balance and balls.
This might be more like a $10 snag since the print run was low, but a great one that's well worth it.
PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – November, 2010
ARTIST: Mitch Breitweiser
Who the heck is Mitch Breitweiser? Don’t worry if you don’t know his work because he didn’t do much between his working years of 2009-2013. There are some great Superman, Arrow and Captain America covers, but that about covers it (no pun intended). Either way, this one kills!
The obvious thought, instantly, is that this is a Ross cover and it has all the earmarks of that. I think, perhaps, Bettie Breitweiser has a bit to do with this standout cover as the rest of Mitch’s covers look a bit “sketched.” she is given co-credit for this one via some sources.
The light and perspective are masterful, here, as are the tonal work and control of the medium which are nuanced and graceful. It is a near-perfect layout. Had this been a ratio variant, it would be worth a ton. Alas, it isn't and can be grabbed for cover or less, but it's a classic in my book.
PUBLISHED: Dell Publishing – May/June, 1953
ARTIST: Alden “Al” Spurr McWilliams
Obviously, I don’t choose Golden Age covers very often mostly because they don’t fit into the rules of this column and can’t generally be gotten cheaply. This one, however, just blows me away and is an easy get for $15-$20 even in really nice condition.
This is “Part 2” to a story begun in Dell’s Four Color Comics #424 (numbered as Flash Gordon #7). The 3-part story ends in Four Color Comics #512 (numbered as Flash Gordon #8). A weird way to publish these, with this tucked into the middle functioning almost as “Flash Gordon #7.5, but all 3 of the covers are ridiculously awesome. This one is by far the best, though. These painted covers from the Golden Age get virtually no love and I have zero idea why.
This thing is pure color and lighting genius that contains all of the emotion and momentary action one would expect from Flash Gordon. The realism of it stands up to the best cover painters of the modern age. I feel like many modern collectors think that covers like these are a thing of Modern Age publishing, only, but are reminded that this level of cover has existed for 60 years or more.
And that wraps it up for another Cover Tunes. I hope there was a little something for everyone in this week’s issue. As always, I encourage you all to comment and let me know your thoughts. Until next week, thanks so much for reading and happy hunting.