The amazing Robert McGinnis, nearly 90 years-old and not missing a trick, provides this gorgeous cover for Max Allan Collins’ latest “Quarry” novel from Hard Case Crime. I just got this book and it’s right on top of the reading pile. Collins’ “Quarry” novels, which chronicle the life of a hardboiled professional killer, are among my favorite books – and Quarry one of my favorite protagonists – in the genre.
Back in 1997, Kitchen Sink Press published several issues of Will Eisner’s The Spirit – The New Adventures, for which they invited a number of the comic industry’s top talents to contribute original stories featuring Central City’s masked crimebuster. A lot of great names were involved, and many of the stories were extremely good, sometimes rivaling the master’s own tales. They sported some terrific covers, too – including this Brian Bolland masterpiece from Issue #3. It was also released as a limited edition print (shown below).
Winterworld was a 3-issue miniseries by Chuck Dixon and artist Jorge Zaffino, originally published in 1987 by Eclipse Comics. A post-Apocalyptic tale of survival, set in an unspecified future where the world is covered in ice and snow, the series featured some pretty savage action and brutal storytelling by Dixon & Zaffino.
The original miniseries – along with a previously unpublished sequel, Wintersea, by the same creative team, was recently published in trade paperback form by IDW Publishing, and Dixon has followed that collection with a new, ongoing Winterworld comic book series. I’ve only read the first issue, but it was terrific, and I wouldn’t hesitate to highly recommend both the trade collection and the new series to fans of hard-hitting action and adventure tales.
Here are the original Eclipse miniseries covers by Zaffino.
In 1993 DC Comics published a 4-issue revival of their 1950 spy comic, Danger Trail. The ’93 miniseries was written by Len Wein, and illustrated by Carmine Infantino and Frank McLaughlin. The story was a fairly shameless rip-off of various James Bond movies, and featured DC superspy King Faraday in an adventure pitting him against the supervillain Kobra.
It was enjoyable stuff, but highly derivative. Fortunately, DC had the good sense to hire comicdom’s premiere spy artist, Paul Gulacy, to draw the dynamic, eye-catching covers. Check them out:
This one is cool. It’s the fourth volume of Tempo Books’ late 70s paperback reprints of the Flash Gordon newspaper strips, and its cover features a rare, non-painted cover illustration by Boris Vallejo. I have several of Vallejo’s art books, and I always thought that his freehand line drawings were more dynamic than most of his paintings, which often have a very “posed” quality. Since, according to those aforementioned books, he frequently painted using posed photos of models, that’s probably not too surprising.
One of my favorite comics of the 1980s – in fact, one of my favorite adventure comics ever – is Eclipse comics’ revival of Forties WWII hero, Airboy. Under the guiding hands of editor/artist Timothy Truman and writer Chuck Dixon (who wrote all 50 issues of the series), the book built brilliantly on the legacy of the Charles Biro character, updating the concept for the Regan era.
IDW is currently re-issuing the series in handsome archive editions, and Truman – always one of my favorite comic book artists – has created striking new covers for the collections.
Back in 1992, Harris Comics revived the classic “Good Ghoul” character Vampirella, with a new, full-color series that was a far cry in style and tone from the legendary B&W Warren magazine originals. And of course, since it was 1992, who better to render the covers than the hottest “hot chick” artist of the time, Adam Hughes?
I admit it. I bought it because of the cover, too.
So, Hermes Press has just collected their Buck Rogers miniseries by Howard Chaykin. I didn’t read the individual comics, but I pre-ordered it in trade, and expect it to arrive in a week or so. I don’t always like Chaykin’s comics, but when I do, I tend to like them a lot. In the 80s, I adored American Flagg, and the writer/artist is responsible for creating one of my all-time favorite comics characters – Atlas Comics’ The Scorpion. I also dug his 80s Shadow miniseries (and will probably pick up his recent return to the character eventually), among many other titles.
I’ve read online that this version of Buck Rogers hews more closely to the original Philip Francis Nowlan pulp novellas, Armageddon 2419 A.D. and The Airlords Of Han…. and I think that’s a great approach. Hey, I love the 70s TV series as much as anyone (and more than most), but it’s about time to get back to the character’s roots.
Here are Chaykin’s covers for the four issue miniseries.
The City Outside The World is one of Lin Carter’s Mars Novels, a four book cycle of homages (or pastiches, if you prefer) of Leigh Brackett’s own stories set on the Red Planet. It’s also the only one in the series I don’t yet own. Still, I’m featuring it here because I find this cover painting (by an artist I haven’t identified as yet) quite handsome and evocative of the Interplanetary Romance genre.