ISSUE #79 – OUT OF THE MUCK – PART 2

 

Hey, hey, fellow diggers. Welcome back to another Cover Tunes. I hope you all had a great week. If you went to Baltimore, I’m particularly jealous. That said, I went to Memphis Comic Expo and did really well, so I’m not THAT angry. It’s a small show, but there are always great creators, there. I would like to hit up B-More, eventually, so I can at least submit directly to CGC. I have a problem sending big boy books through the mail.

This week is yet another foray into monsters as we count down to Halloween. As promised, I now finally give you part 2 of “Out of the Muck” continued from two weeks ago. So, rather than beat a dead horse and talk more about why I love swamp monsters, I’ll just refer you back to Part 1 of “Out of the Muck” from 10/9. Check that out if this is stuff you generally dig.

This week is a bit of a combo, actually. It is a mash-up continuation of two articles. The first (as I already mentioned) was two-weeks-ago’s Part 1 of this swamp monster article and the other is the Silver Age prototype Marvel monsters from last week’s Cover Tunes. This week, we look at some prototype swamp monsters from the Silver Age as well as a handful from the Bronze age (with one Modern thrown in). I’ll keep descriptions short this week as there are a lot of covers, this time.

This week, I could call the article, “Scared People in Boats,” but I resisted the urge. Enough of that. Let’s get started, shall we?

 

*****

THE FOLLOWING ARE ALL SILVER AGE

and while not terribly expensive in the grand scheme of the Silver Age, they will probably cost you $25-$50 or more.

 

*****

 

Tales of Suspense #23 (1959 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel – November, 1961

ARTISTS: Jack Kirby AND Steve Ditko!!!

 

I love this cover although I’ve never managed to find one. It has a very similar feel to that Amazing Adult Fantasy #13 I featured two weeks ago and that makes sense since Ditko was also involved on that one. Normally, I don’t go in for the multi-panel look, but I really love how it functions on this cover as a kind of frame-by-frame film of an action sequence. Anyhow, Ditko AND Kirby?!?!… yeah, you need one.

(NOTE: “Scared People in Boats: Part 1”)

 

 

Tales to Astonish #11 (1959 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – September, 1960

ARTISTS: Jack Kirby AND Dick Ayers

 

While not the greatest cover of all time, this is a really different take on the swamp monster as more of a slime monster and I really love it. Of course, it’s Kirby and Ayers, so tough to go wrong with that. This one is a fairly cheap buy and can be readily found for about $25 in low-mid grade.

(NOTE: Scared People in Boats: Part 2”)

 

Creepy #16 (1964 Series)

PUBLISHED: Warren Publishing – August, 1967

ARTIST: Frank Frazetta

 

This is here because Frazetta. More of a swamp beauty than a monster, this one has amazing depth and a fantastic color palette. The typical full-figured Frazetta babe style is present along with the masterful overall technique, but she is honestly not the best part of this cover. The swamp and cheetahs are actually quite a bit more gripping to me than she is, in this case. Don’t get me wrong, I love a Frazetta girl, but it’s not ALL that’s on the cover. The only thing wrong with it… no scared people in boats, HA!.

 

Strange Tales #75 (1951 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – June, 1960

ARTISTS: Jack Kirby AND Steve Ditko!!!

 

Scared people in a used-to-be boat (so that counts as #3, right?), but in all seriousness, I love the terror of this one. Another Kirby/Ditko prototype that has an awful lot in common with the creature on the cover of Tales to Astonish #11, above. Clearly, the boys were riffing until they got it right. Anyhow, particularly brilliant use of light and shadow in this one and a gripping sense of action.

 

*****

MORE FROM THE BRONZE AGE

*****

 

Uncanny Tales #2 (1973 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel – February, 1974

ARTIST: Carl Burgos and John Romita (fixes)

 

This one is cool because of the menace of it. One has to look closely to even see the monster and I sometimes prefer the idea that I have to “see” the subject matter rather than just “look” at it (if that makes any sense). Some incredible intricacies in the linework on this one which create amazing depth and perspective. Romita adding fixes was not uncommon and he wasn’t the only one to do it, either. Many of the top artists at both DC and Marvel often were tasked with doing this. Sometimes, the more famous artists had multiple projects going on, but the company wanted their input, influence and style present, one way or another.

 

(NOTE: “Scared People in Boats: Part 4”)

 

Haunted #8 (1971 Series)

PUBLISHED: Charlton Comics Group – October, 1972

ARTIST: Unknown (but probably Tom F. Sutton)

 

I absolutely love this cover and especially adore the multi-layered style of it. The heavy shadowing and linework provide an amazing lighting effect on this cover. Even though there is a Man-Thing “thing” going on with this creature, the stylistic water (almost far-eastern in feel) along with the foreground in the shadows really intrigues me and makes this cover stand apart from other Charlton stuff from the era. This can be found for $10 or less fairly regularly, although rarely in great shape.

 

Masters of Terror #1 (1975 Series)

PUBLISHED: Curtis (Marvel) – July, 1975

ARTISTS: Gray Morrow (based on a Jim Steranko sketch)

 

Just a gorgeous fully-painted cover of IT that doesn’t show up very often. When it does, it shouldn’t run you more than $10. I can’t honor these Bronze Age magazines enough. There are so many wonderful choices and this is one of the many. I’d really love to see the original Steranko sketch that was used in order to create this piece.

 

Monsters Unleashed #7 (1973 Series)

PUBLISHED: Curtis (Marvel) – July, 1974

ARTIST: Richard Hescox

 

“Hey, baby… I’ll take you to the swamp for a hot date where it’ll be quiet and peaceful and no one will bother us and… HOLY CRAP… a swamp demon! Here, get in front of me!!! Better you than me!” Sooooo… Using your hot date as a human shield probably not good for getting lucky (or for a second date) assuming anyone lived through this scene. This is just a dark, dark beautiful cover. I need one.

 

*****

ONE MODERN FOR GOOD MEASURE

 

*****

 

Justice League Dark #12b (2018 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – August, 2019

ARTIST: Clayton Crain

 

I just could not leave this unbelievable cover out of any article that included swamp monsters. While I covered Swamp Thing covers in Part 1, two weeks ago, I thought this was a must show cover. Unreal intricate detail and just a cool and different darker take on Swampy. This one should still be sitting at your LCS for cover price.

 

*****

QUICK HIT

*****

Monsters Unleashed #3 (1973 Series)

PUBLISHED: Curtis (Marvel) – December, 1973

ARTIST: Neal Adams

 

I put this one in the quick hits because I’ve already covered a Man-Thing cover as well as a Monsters Unleashed cover AS WELL as a Neal Adams cover within this article and Part 1, two weeks ago. This is still a phenomenal cover, though, and one that should be on collectors’ radars. It just feels like a classic.

 

*****

 

Phew, that was a lot, again. I hope you enjoyed my choices, this week. Chime in and drop a comment. Next week, I finally get back to what is perhaps my favorite niche in this hobby: Bronze Age DC horror. It’s been a year since I last visited them and I can’t wait. Until then, be well, thanks for reading and happy hunting.

 

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