ISSUE #53: Quite Frankly

 

Welcome to a new Cover Tunes, ladies and gents. I hope you all had a great weekend, especially those of you who celebrate Easter. I know I ate entirely too much, and took a nap like the old man that I am (although, in my defense, I think I’m still recovering from last week’s Star Wars Celebration). I spent my extra day off on Friday doing some hunting and ran across some amazing vintage toy gems… like once-in-a-lifetime stuff. Hopefully, you all had a chance to hunt and unearthed some treasures, as well.  

Anyhow, I know it’s only mid-April, but I am already excited and gearing up for this year’s Con season: stocking up on blank covers, grabbing correct titles for people to sign, saving up funds, making room in the ol’ longboxes and making lists of needed gap-fillers and keys. It’s never too early to be prepared. I even grabbed a new backpack for this year with better padding on the straps. So, if you’re like me and prepping to hit the concrete floors (carpet doesn’t really help, does it?), you want some good stuff to track down.

With that, I thought I’d give a sample of awesome girly covers for your bin-diving pleasure by an artist I decidedly don’t usually like: Frank Cho. Mostly, I’m in the minority on this, especially when dealing with his overly “thick” Harley Quinn covers which seem to always be popular. He does, from time to time re-use his own art elements which isn’t my favorite pastime (See Miracleman #2 and Liberty Meadows #35 among many others). However, Cho does have some amazing offbeat “good girl” covers over his career and I’d be remiss if I ignored his popularity and prowess. If you haven’t seen his recent ballpoint pen series, head over to his instagram page and check those out. Those are pretty breathtaking. Here’s a sample…  

 

As a note, I will not be featuring any of his Harley Quinn covers, here. First, you all already know them and, second, I think they are generally not Cho’s best work. With that, let’s get into some amazing and cheap Cho, shall we.

 

Liberty Meadows #36 (1999 Series)

PUBLISHED: Image Comics – March, 2004

ARTIST: Frank Cho

 

This series is loaded with amazing covers by Cho. It is difficult to choose just one, but this #36 is very much the most “artistic” of the bunch and not so much an out-and-out suggestion of sex as much as it is incidentally sexy. I prefer the subtleties in this one and the stark whiteness of it so that the skin pops. In a way, it is the most alluring cover of the 36 Cho covers (Adam Hughes actually did one of them, #20). I is interesting that Hughes did one of these covers as, at this time, their styles were almost indecipherable from each other. Pretty much this entire series can be found in dollar bins, although the Hughes issue is a bit tough. So, if you like this one or any of the other Cho covers, they should be relatively cheap if you can find them.  

 

Hammer of the Gods #1 (2001 Series)

PUBLISHED: Insight Studios – February, 2001

ARTIST: Frank Cho

 

Another odd series that also features a couple of Cho and Adam Hughes covers. For my money, one can’t beat a chick with a sword. This cover is a little dark, but again, I love the duo-toned palette that really make the eyes and the sword (and the baby) stand out against the blues and browns. This is a cool cover that doesn’t pop up often. When it does, though, it’s another dollar bin snag. I found one for a quarter a few weeks ago.

 

Hellboy: Weird Tales #6 (2003 Series)

PUBLISHED: Dark Horse Comics – December, 2003

ARTIST: Frank Cho

 

Well, this one isn’t pulling any punches with its in-your-face sexiness. It is definitely the suggestive version of damsel in distress, but I love the almost silly nature of it. Also, it is an extremely dynamic cover with layers of dimension. From a compositional standpoint, it is one of Cho’s best pieces. Sounds strange to say, but I really love the clouds in the background. Well, let’s be honest, I don’t mind the butt, either. Ha! I could do without the thick black border and the overabundance of trade dress, though. $5 or less on this one.

 

Shanna the She-Devil #1 and #4 (2005 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel [Knights] Comics –  April, 2005 / October, 2005 (respectively)

ARTIST: Frank Cho

 

Well, I couldn’t choose between these two, so I didn’t. I think these are two of Cho’s best covers, ever. They are dynamic, clean and show all of the reasons why fans love his work. Frank’s eye for layout is superb on these two covers, especially, as is his use of color. The #1 can approach $10 (although usually more like cover price to $5), which is still pretty cheap, but the #4 should be cover price or less.

 

Footman 15: Fairy Fire #1 (2002 Series)

PUBLISHED: Bald Guy Studios – October, 2002

ARTIST: Frank Cho

 

Just a fun and little-known cutesy little pin-up-ish cover. This one is only a couple bucks on ebay, but I’ve never seen one pop up in person.

 

Marvel Knights “4” #13 (2004 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – February, 2005

ARTIST: Frank Cho

 

I particularly love this cover because it melds both of Cho’s best techniques in one composition. There is the clear “Good Girl” element with the Invisible Woman which is clean and smooth, but there is also the hatching work done on the backdrop within the spotlight which also adds to the invisibility effect. The two techniques marry quite nicely and I wish Frank would utilize this combination more often. Another dollar bin candidate. This one should never set you back more than cover price.  

 

Savage Red Sonja: Queen of the Frozen Wastes #1 (2006 Series)

PUBLISHED: Dynamite Entertainment – August, 2006

ARTIST: Frank Cho

 

I can’t help but toss in a Red Sonja cover. Actually, Frank just did another amazing RS cover for the new 2019 #1, so check that one out, too. This Savage cover is tough and sexy and laid out really well. Of course, EVERYTHING is exaggerated, but somehow for Red Sonja’s character, it works.

 

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QUICK HITS

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Ms. Marvel #5 (2006 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – September, 2006

ARTIST: Frank Cho

 

Fantastic linework and perspective on this one. I’m a sucker for the swimsuit costume.

 

The New Avengers #15 (2005 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – March, 2006

ARTIST: Frank Cho

 

I love me a good upside-down cover. The backdrop is super cool, too.

 

*****

 

Again, I want to thank you all for your amazing support and dialogue over this past year of Cover Tunes and especially for the past two weeks of swipe covers. It seems you all really enjoyed those and so I will revisit that topic again, later this year. I am thrilled to give you yet another strong year of Cover Tunes, Between the Sheets and Artist Spotlight interviews. I am also humbled to be a part of CBSI’s stupendous stable of writers who continually churn out incredible original content for the interwebs, every week. If you’d like to be a part of what we do and think you have the chops, don’t forget to enter into this year’s CBSI Writers War.

With that, I leave you all for yet another week. Please, sound off in the comments section and let me know what you’re feeling. Until next week, be well, thanks for reading and happy hunting.

 

 

16 comments

  • Earlybird

    Man that Hellboy cover is a beast 🔥🔥🔥
    Great article enjoyed the whole read… Thanks Mike for all you time and efforts, it’s all appreciated, and well worth my time reading it 💫

    • Mike Morello

      I love that Hellboy! I almost made it the thumbnail, but the Shanna cover really blew me away, too, so I went with that one.

      Thanks so much for the read and the kind words. I really appreciate it!

  • AZBarbarian

    I have always liked Frank Cho’s style. I have friends who think his ladies are too thick.

    • Mike Morello

      I agree with those people only sometimes. I’m just not a fan of it on characters like Harley, but it certainly works for women like Red Sonja. He has an amazing upcoming cover for Vampirella in July, too! Looking forward to that one a lot.

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    My favorite Cho cover is Cavewoman Jungle Tales 1 Special Edition. I found a copy and had it signed by him. It came back a 9.6 from CBCS. Below is a link where it could originally be ordered but I don’t think the site is still in use. However, the book is pictured there with a little bit of information.

    http://www.amryl.com/index.php?pagename=jungletales

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      Actually, Amryl is still an active publisher, and the webpage is regularly updated with new monthly releases and posts to its Yahoo mailing list.

      • Mike Morello

        I love that jungle tales and I almost chose it, but thought it was a little too similar to the Hellboy I went with. Either way, though, a fantastic cover!

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    My brain at first read the headline and thought it said “Frank Quitely” lol

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    Frank Cho’s women are straight up sexy. Dude knows how to draw the female form.

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    I think when you look at Frank Cho’s work his cover work with women characters is amazingly good.

    Some of my favorites are not those though. I like the way he draws Spider-man in his covers (really like his Dark Reign variants) and his Reborn #1 variant is one of my favorite dragon covers.

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    Great Work! Several of these I was totally unaware of. That “4” Invisible Woman Cover just made my “to buy” list!

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    His women are the best. When you depict Red Sonja or Wonder Woman or Shanna… women that should have some muscle and curves, I mean its frickin warrior women ffs, they need to be “bigger” than normal chicks.

    I do agree however that with Harley I don’t dig it either.

    I wouldn’t see MJ or Lois Lane all sexy bulky like that but Red Sonja? Shanna? Hell yeah!

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