Monday, August 04, 2014

Kirby Kovers!

Time for another parade of Kirby Kovers! Let's see what I have this time around...
This time around, we're looking at a number of different genres, starting with  My Own Romance, in the romance comics genre that Jack and Joe Simon invented! This cover definitely got rendered by (I'm guessing) Vince Colletta to the point where one would hardly know it was a Kirby Kover! Still, note the layout of the cover... Jack must have known where the cover copy was going to go, and posed the main character to take advantage of that placement. Also note how the eye travels around from the model to the crying woman, and then back to the artist and the women in the background, each figure taking a smaller portion of the cover as the eye follows.

Next, we have the sword and sorcery genre, with Giant-Size Conan the Barbarian #5, which looks much more like Jack's work! There's a lot going on here, with both Conan and Elric sharing the cover, although Conan gets the lion's share of it, as is his right! Note also that Jack rendered Conan's loincloth more like furry shorts!

Our next genre is the western, with Rawhide Kid #32. Here, we've got a triangle design, accentuated by the two arrows. note that the kid's body is arched away from the threat he's aware of, the approaching Indians, while he seems unaware of the Barker Brothers.

Jack did a variety of different war comics, and this cover for Foxhole is one of the most graphic ones he did... You really get the feeling that Jack wasn't trying to glorify warfare at all, but rather presents it at its most chilling.

Some of Jack's best covers were for The Fantastic Four, and we have two of them this time around! First up, it's issue #26, with the second half of the epic Thing/Hulk clash! Note that Jack's got the building under construction the assembled heroes are battling around drawn so that the heroes literally dwarf it (there's no way that building is to human scale).

As exciting as the one FF cover was, the cover for issue #41 is much more dramatic! Note that Ben Grimm, menacing his teammates, is rendered with a lot of shadow to put him in contrast with the other FF members (the colorist added to this with the two-toned coloring... or was that Jack using Zip-A-Tone to get the effect?).

I'm pretty sure that a cover motif that Jack created was the multi-panel elapsed time style, shown here on Tales of Suspense #23, which covers the monster genre! Note that not only does the monster emerge from one panel to the next, but also the reactions of the hapless couple who came upon him! Note the attention to detail... in the second panel, one of the oars was dropped into the water, so in the final panel, the man has only one to defend himself with!


  1. Conan's face looks more like Buscema than Kirby to me. I wonder of JB was asked to redo it so that Conan looked more like he was then presently being drawn. I understand that Johnny Romita was sometimes asked to redo women's faces on other artists' covers.

  2. The creature in the last one looks more like Steve Ditko's work than Kirby's.


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