Saturday, October 17, 2015

Two times the action ! Two times the fun !

Because we had a lot of horror - centric posts these last days I thought it would be a nice change of pace to have a post about special covers.

But I don´t mean variant covers. No. These have been popping up a lot lately and I have never been a big fan of them. Don´t get me wrong.

I´m not against variant covers per se. I have bought a few variant covers where I was not in the least bit interested in the comic or where I already had the comic and bought a second copy just for that variant cover. What I don´t like is the inflationary way variant covers are used Today. I mean, if we have variant covers each month - and I´m talking about more than three different ones for almost every title from Marvel - they are not so special anymore. And why the heck should we need a special Wolverine anniversary cover on Daredevil ? It makes absolutely no sense. And it´s not only Marvel who does this. DC also has a special variant cover each month. Which I can understand. If your comics suck you have to sell them somehow and variants still have a great pull with comic readers and collectors. Add to that all the other comic companies that have five different covers each month on every issue and it get a bit overwhelming. Now if there is a special nude cover among those variant covers - like with the new CAVEWOMAN series - that is simply beyond reproach.

And I do like homage covers. If you have read my blog for a few months you know how I like homage covers. I do special posts with them and if I can´t do a special post I like to sneak them into my posts. Because I get a kick out of them. I like it when somebody does a reference to an iconic comic cover or a certain moment in a great story line. It´s the reason why my readers like to see the spanish or german covers of US comics. It´s a glimpse into a mirror universe where things are the same but different.

And we all love a good parallel earth story, don´t we ? So I can´t really complain about those homage covers. The more, the merrier I say.

But like I said, I have my DEJA VUE posts for those homage covers and since it is Saturday I thought I should do something a bit more special.

So Today´s topic - as you might have guessed from the title - are wrap around covers. Don´t you love it when you open up a comic book and the cover and the back are just one big cover ? That´s something you can´t do on a laptop or on a tablet. I mean, yes, you can put it sideways but you can´t open it up to twice it´s normal size which you basically do with a printed wrap around cover. For quite some time I have put those covers into a special folder and the first ones were those classic DC covers but just Today I went looking for a few new ones which I had seen while doing one of the last few posts when I came across some interesting posts from MARVEL COMICS OF THE 1980s. I know I have linked to a lot of their posts but they have just really good material. The thing is the cover I had found when I started my search was from THE OFFICIAL MARVEL INDEX TO THE FANTASTIC FOUR from 1985 and I thought that it may be possible that there were more than one wrap around cover from that series.

And I was right. Marvel did four OFFICIAL MARVEL INDEX series back in the 80s for AMAZING SPIDER - MAN, AVENGERS ( they had a second volume in 1994 ), FANTASTIC FOUR and the X - MEN ( also a second volume in 1994 ) and they did wrap around covers for most of them.

That was the time when Baxter paper had a big impact on the comic industry ( I have already explained what Baxter paper is in this post ) and all companies did special editions of their best stories in special formats.

Anyway, while doing my research I came about some cool stuff at MARVEL COMICS OF THE 1980s like part of an unpublished cover for THE OFFICIAL MARVEL INDEX TO THE AMAZING SPIDER - MAN issue 7 by Kerry Gammill.

I know. I couldn´t believe it either. How do you let the chance pass to print such a great cover, right ? This proves that Marvel made some bonehead decisions even back then. So the Disney thing ? Not surprising.

I love Kerry Gammill and I think he is one of the most under appreciated comic artists out there. I´m going nuts over his Superman stuff and you can see me gush more about his art when I ever get to continue my series on the SUPERMAN comics of the 80s and 90s - and Maxima. The way he draws Superman dropping out of the sky - there´s one particular page I would probably buy as an original but of course I couldn´t find that page.  

And don´t get me started on his work on POWER MAN and IRON FIST. Now that´s what I call epic. I read most of those issues in the spanish version, Iron fist´s fight against the ninja, the Sons of the Tigers, their return to Kun Lun, and so on. One of the ESSENTIALS I got is the second volume of POWER MAN AND IRON FIST but it contains the latter part when the inks got kind of funky. But it´s still good Kerry Gamill art. There is an Epic Collection out of some of his material and if it´s the early stuff I´m definitely getting that even if I have to deal with the gutter problems.

One of these days I´ll have to do a full blown post on Kerry Gammill and his wonderful art. Anyway, back to THE OFFICIAL MARVEL INDEX TO THE AMAZING SPIDER - MAN 7 here´s the complete cover and if you see what they used instead you will curse Marvel more than I did when I saw it.

They did however use his cover for THE OFFICIAL MARVEL INDEX TO THE AMAZING SPIDER - MAN issue 9 which is just fabulous beyond words.

Our pals from MARVEL COMICS OF THE 1980s have a post on the series which has many nice pictures like John Romita Sr. cover for issue 4

and Mike Zeck´s cover for issue 5.

Coming back to Kerry Gamill, he also did a wonderful cover for THE OFFICIAL MARVEL INDEX TO THE FANTASTIC FOUR issue 5. MARVEL COMICS OF THE 1980s has a post where you can see all the covers .

Now I would like to post some covers from the Avengers series but all the pictures I found are much too small. Instead we´re going with the X - Men Index which has a great Walter Simonson cover on their second issue

and an even better John Romita Jr cover on issue 7.

And speaking of the X - Men, you remember that I mentioned that when the Baxter paper came out the comic companies did special editions of their best stories with the new paper ? I read my first WARLOCK issues in that version and they too had all wrap around covers by Jim Starlin.

Anyway, I´m going to leave those for an upcoming DEATH IN COMICS - THE MANY AND STRANGE DEATHS OF ADAM WARLOCK post but in the meantime here is the cover to UNCANNY X - MEN SPECIAL EDITION 1 by Dave Cockrum with the first appearance of the ALL NEW X - Men team ( also courtesy of the fine folks from MARVEL COMICS OF THE 1980s ).

And we´re staying with Marvel´s merry mutants. Of course there also were some wrap around covers on later issues of comics like on this cover for X - FACTOR 92 by Joe Quesada ( a lot of people wish he had stayed with doing pencils ) which was part of the FATAL ATTRACTIONS crossover which had double page spreads on all the issues as well as holograms.

And that´s all we have time for Today. But don´t worry, there will be more posts with wrap around covers on the way with lots of stuff from DC and when we continue with the Marvel covers there will be big names like George Perez, Jim Lee, Ed McGuiness, Frank Cho, Joe Madureiras and even one from MASTERS OF KUNG FU. And now for Today´s link section.

MARS WILL SEND NO MORE has lots of X - Men stuff like ALL the FATAL ATTRACTIONS covers, THE UNPUBLISHED X - MEN, a website that is all about unpublished or rare X - Men material has 3 posts on Mike Zeck´s wrap around covers for X - MEN CLASSICS and they also provided the unpublished cover for X - MEN 56 by Neal Adams which I posted at the beginning, STORM ARCANA has a post on ASTRO CITY´s Brent Anderson´s work on X - Men and COMIC BOOK RESOURCES number 15 of their 50 GREATEST X - MEN STORIES countdown is also FATAL ATTRACTIONS.

Onwards with more Kerry Gammill : FORTRESS OF BAILEYTUDE is the home of the FROM CRISIS TO CRISIS podcast and helped me out with the Kerry Gammill splash page , DC COMICS ARTISTS lists the artists Who drew Superman in the Iron Age ? , MAJOR SPOILERS has a RETRO REVIEW of Kerry Gammill´s POWER MAN & IRON FIST 79 and last but not least DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND offers the complete issue 62 of that. 

We start Today´s video section with one I have bookmarked a long time ago : Danni Danger´s review of the UNCANNY X - MEN / THE NEW TEEN TITANS crossover by Chris Claremont, Walter Simonson and Terry Austin.

It´s a really great read and I don´t think I posted any of Danni Danger´s videos so far. And speaking of great artists here´s X - MEN´s Neal Adams.

Neal Adams also worked on such iconic Superman sagas like SUPERMAN VS MUHAMMED ALI and since former Superman artist Kerry Gammill is a big part of this post ( the day when he left comics to work in movies and television was a sad day for the comics industry ) here´s a video I probably would have never posted if I hadn´t read that Everything You Thought You Knew About Nic Cage´s Superman Film Is Wrong before.

So far we haven´t had a full movie video and since Spider - Man is also in this post ( Superman and Spider - Man in the same post, only on TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN, brother ) here´s THE DRAGON´S CHALLENGE, the only one I´m sure I haven´t posted before. And what could be a greater combination than Spider - Man acrobatics and 80s Kung Fu ?

Speaking about great combinations I´m not sure if the following bikini contestants really are one since I suspect it´s the same girl. Or isn´t it ?

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

When exposing criminal behavior is treated as a crime, you are ruled by criminals.

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