Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Lazy Post Courtesy of

While futzing about on the internet in an effort to keep my weary head from crashing into my desk like a paperweight dropped from a great height, I stumbled across a site that's pretty famous but passed me by completely: Cover Browser, which archives old comic covers so that good people can marvel at these pop culture relics, and lazy bloggers (i.e. me) can nick them and make jokes about them that have probably already been told.

I note that years before DC's Minx imprint, they had already experimented with capturing the female market with Girls' Love Stories, which dealt with such issues as birth control, emancipation, wage inequalities, and body issues. I mean, I guess that's what they were about. I could only find covers where the female protagonists agonised over boys, for some reason.

Silly. Didn't your mother tell you monochrome men will just use you for sex?

Chronic flatulence?

And with that humiliation, Ayn Rand decided to leave her unfaithful husband and move to Russia, aka Nosmilingrad.

Who whoa whoa! Watch the man parts there, lady! Seriously, if she connected with that much force he'd be wearing them as bruised and battered earrings.

"When I first met Mindy on the beach I thought the overwhelming stench was coming from the sea, but boy was I ever wrong!"

Of course, most comics were aimed squarely at men, with even less subtlety. Check it out: Fight Comics! This week: fights!

He totally punched that guy's head off! As a man, I find that enormously appealing. Actually, if you go to the page where I got that from, you'll find a more apt name for that title would have been Bondage Comics. I can imagine William Moulton Marston was a big fan.

You hear a lot about dumbing down these days, and it's always nice to see that pop culture has gone through this before. It's not a straight line down, it's a churn, with dumbing down, up, sideways. we'll be fine. Still, the wonderfully named Crime SuspenStories went from something as intricate and wacky and imaginative as this... this less complex concept several months later.

Despite that sledgehammer nonsense, the covers for the anthology titles of old have a lot more charm than the current crop of character-led comics, most of which just show poses of Wolverine growling and brandishing his claws, and that's not necessarily on X-Men comics. Back in the day, they had to tell a story.

Though I can't imagine what the hell this story could be like. I reckon the writer once overheard someone talking about "a jury of my peers" and misheard it as being "a jury of my bees", and went with it. I know I've had stupider ideas thanks to my lousy hearing.

Sorry dude, Lost just started. I'll be with you in a bit.

"If I am crowned Miss Doom 1954, I promise that I will use my title to promote hatred, misery and intolerance around the world, and will aid in the subjugation of the masses by dictators, mad scientists, and evil geniuses of every creed and colour. You puny scum." ::applause::

Some of those House of Mystery covers are incredibly odd and original, but every so often they just phoned it in.

I've lost count of the number of covers I've seen featuring a bat-shaped kite being laden with jewels by mysterious ghostly hands while a guy in a helicopter hovers nearby. Disappointing.

But Egypt looked away, impassive and uncaring. After all, Lost was about to start.

It's not just old timey suspense and horror comics on that site; more traditional comics turn up as well. I found one that adequately depicts the struggle I had with the kitchen floor yesterday.

Double cream + Mr. Muscle Kitchen Cleaner = The Glob.

I love almost all of the covers I've seen tonight, but some are done by artists whose brilliance surpasses even that, and have passed into legend. This is my favourite of the night.

Frank Frazetta, ladies and gentlemen.


Jaredan said...

I remember copying Frazetta's work religiously when I used to know which end of a pencil to use.
The composition is just always powerful and alive. Love it.

Adams said...

Do you know, I've met three self-proclaimed fantasy art fans this year (and these were all dudes in their 30s, so no points given for excessive youth) who claimed never to have heard of Frank Frazetta. Odelay?! How can you spend even one moment studying comic/film/SF art of the past 50 years and not have even heard of Frank Frazetta? Especially since every artist these dudes love have been swagger-jackin' Frazetta since the late 70s AT LEAST. Crazy. Oh my God, my blood pressure.

Admiral Neck said...

That's fucked up, Adams. What about Boris Vallejo? Or, in sci fi terms, Chris Foss? Pfft. These kids today, with their iPens and their emotionmusic. They sicken me.

Jaredan, have you ever shown me your art? I don't recall ever seeing anything by you with buxom ladies in metal bras sitting on green tigers.

Adams said...

Oh, no. These knuckleheads all know Boris.

People! The world did not begin in 1981! Why is no one listening to me?!