ISSUE #52: ONE YEAR

 

Wow! Can you all believe it’s been a year’s worth of Cover Tunes? Here we are at issue 52 and we’ve covered an awful lot of awesome art, together. I am humbled to be able to write for all of you and I hope I’ve uncovered a few books you decided you “needed” when you were done reading one of these articles. I sincerely thank you all for your support, your kind words, and your insights over these 52 weeks.

With that, I just returned from Star Wars Celebration in Chicago and what an epic time it was. From the Episode IX: “Rise of Skywalker” teaser trailer to The Clone Wars’ return (Ahsoka… woohoo!) and the start of The Mandalorian live-action television show on Disney’s streaming network: from two new amazeballs video games to Galaxy’s Edge opening at both Disney parks, Star Wars nerds have an insane year ahead. From what I saw there, we should all saddle up as it’s going to be a heck of a ride. I lived a charmed life during the week and had an all-access pass which allowed backstage access, no lines, early admittance, front section seats to all of the panels and a host of other perks. It was downright awesome (in the real definition of a word which is so often overused).

 

[SCROLL DOWN IF YOU’D LIKE TO SKIP THE FOLLOWING EDITORIAL AND GET RIGHT TO THIS WEEK’S BOOKS]

 

The one negative take-away from the show which I feel obligated to report was Funko! I have never experienced such a rude, belligerent group of employees from a respected company. Everyone I spoke to there was argumentative and downright mean to customers. I had a “manager” named Dio actually try to pick a fight with me just for asking what time we were allowed to begin purchasing Pops.

I mean, let’s process that question for a second… all I wanted to do was give them money for ridiculous looking pieces of plastic and wondered what time I could do it.

 

 

I had spoken to employees early in the convention and was told by at least three of them (multiple times) that we’d be able to buy them on Monday morning prior to the Exhibit Hall opening. When I went back on Monday, as instructed, the first woman conveniently pretended she didn’t know what I was talking about, the second woman walked away from me because I didn’t know the names of the people I had spoken to and third and final person, as I said, actually yelled at me like a child and he was one of the people who told me to come back on Monday. He flatly denied it to my face and then acted like he was going to fight me. It was pathetic, juvenile and deplorable behavior from a company that people support with a lot of dollars. That won’t last long if they continue to act like that.

 

 

I buy a lot of nerd stuff and spend gladly for companies that deserve it, but I will never buy another Funko product… ever. Your mileage may vary (but I doubt it). As a note, every other booth/company was polite, friendly and helpful as we were all just trying to have some geeky fun and celebrate Star Wars together. Funko! apparently never got that message.

 

Anyhow, I will write a slightly more thorough recon of this convention, soon. For now, though, let me just say that the 6-day con (1 for set-up) was long and tiring, but incredible. As such, this week’s article is short. However, I still wanted to deliver – on time – my promise to finish up with part 2 of my homage/swipe covers segment which many of you seemed to like, last week.

With that, away we go…

 

 

Battlestar Galactica [BSG] #3 (2013 Series)

PUBLISHED: Dynamite Entertainment – August, 2013

ARTIST: Alex Ross

Star Wars #1 (1977 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – July, 1977

ARTIST: Howard Chaykin

 

The original Star Wars cover is, in fact, a loose swipe of the “Style A” poster from 1977 and the Ross BSG seen here pays gorgeous homage to both of them. In honor of a week of Star Wars Celebration, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this cover. Be aware that there was a signed edition of this one from Dynamic Forces that was limited to 50 copies. Ross also did a variant cover for the 2014 Marvel Star Wars #1 that, while not terribly expensive, is fairly sought after and beautiful.

I love that this is on a BSG cover as the theme fits across the franchises, nicely. BSG back in 1978 was done by many of the same folks who worked on Star Wars a year prior. As a result, the similarities were clearly apparent, albeit excusable to me. They were essentially “swiping” their own work.  

 

Marvel Zombies #1 4th printing (2006 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – June, 2006

ARTIST: Arthur Suydam

The Incredible Hulk #1 (1962 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – May, 1962

ARTIST: Jack Kirby

 

See, I promised last week that I’d give Arthur some love, this week. I follow through on my promises (unlike Funko… I can’t let it go, clearly. Ha!). As a note, the 2nd print of this is a swipe of Spiderman #1, the 3rd print is a swipe of Spiderman #50 and all three are amazing and by Suydam. This 4th print is the best of the group, though. It is a gritty and dark example of an artist exemplifying his own style while still being respectful to the original art.

Technically, later printings are considered by most to be variants (especially when the cover art changes), but all were cover price on release, so this one flies. Now, please, don’t start a flame war over the term of variant used for later printings. It is what it is no matter what you want to call it and it’s just a great cover.

 

Marc Spector: Moon Knight #57 (1989 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – December, 1993

ARTIST: Stephen Platt

The Amazing Spider-man #300 (1963 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – May, 1988

ARTIST: Todd McFarlane

 

Well, Spidey #300 sure has a myriad of homages and many of them are by the originator himself: Todd McFarlane. This one, though, it a fantastic cover in its own right and I feel is even better than the original. I love how the moon is used as the circular center structure in this homage to harken back to the original while making it relevant to this particular title.

Now, full disclosure… you will NEVER be able to pull this one off of ebay for less than $50, HOWEVER, shops miss this one all of the time since it’s not technically a key. Thus, be on the lookout for these in real life and you may find one for $10 or less like I have a few times. Good luck.

 

Popeye #1 (2012 Series)

PUBLISHED: IDW – April, 2012

ARTIST: Bruce Ozella

 

Action Comics #1 (1938 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – June, 1938

ARTIST: Joe Shuster

 

There are so many homages to Action Comics #1, I can’t even count them, but this one sticks out to me as the best. Mostly because it feels “vintage” and not some half-@$$ed swipe. It is a classy homage that pays fitting tribute to the bluest blue chip book of all time. Nothin’ more to say.

 

Harley’s Little Black Book #5 (2016 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – February, 2017

ARTIST: Neal Adams

All-New Collector’s Edition “Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali” #C-56 (1973 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – March, 1978

ARTIST: Neal Adams

 

Yep, an homage to himself almost 40 years later. This one is really fun and pays tribute to a cult favorite cover. I particularly love some of the very clever “updates” he made to this one. Artistically, neither cover is among Adams’ best, but they are both entertaining. The treasury sized Superman vs. Ali cover is pretty expensive, but the Harley is a cover-price-or-less snag.  

 

*****

 

And there ya have it, folks. I hope you enjoyed this one as much as you all seemed to enjoy last week’s. Please, drop a comment and let me know what you’re thinking. Until next time, be well, thanks for reading and happy hunting!

 

4 comments

  • Ben C

    I love homage/swipe covers. This was a great read my friend. Thanks for putting this together!!

  • Clint Joslin

    Mike GREAT read! First, man sorry for the Funko debacle. It sounds as if they are starting to get full of themselves. That’s precisely when impending doom will strike. Don’t forget who you were, are, and will be as without your customers you cease to exist regardless of the latest shiny new toy. I always use the cautionary tale of Beanie Babies for those old enough to remember. Ty stopped listening to his fans and the brand plummeted from what is was in the mid 90s surge. As far as your books for this week, as usual they are perfect! I had never seen that Moon Knight 300 homage. Nor the Marvel Zombies 4th print, both of which I will be on the lookout for thanks to you. As always, I appreciate you hard work and effort you give to this community!

    • Mike Morello

      Thanks, Clint and Ben… I really appreciate it, especially from the two of you.

      I totally agree with the Ty analogy. It will go the exact same way, soon, if they don’t clean up a little. 80,000-90,000 people at that show and people remember like elephants when they’re treated poorly.

  • Dell18

    Suydam! When I was in my late teens (early 90’s) I discovered Epic Illustrated, Suydam and Jeff Jones in one stroke. I was so glad to finally see Arthur get at least a little respect with Marvel Zombies years later. I sold my Platt Moon Knights and still regret it. Whatever happened to him? I remember Prophet but nothing after.

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