Monday, November 19, 2012

Steranko --The Super Cover Artist!

December 1972

December 1972

December 1972

January 1973

January 1973

January 1973

February 1973

February 1973

February 1973

February 1973

February 1973

March 1973

March 1973

March 1973 - Altered by Marie Severin

April 1973

For an exceedingly brief time in very late 1972 and early 1973 Jim Steranko returned to Marvel Comics and became one of their go-to cover artists. He produced on average three covers a month for four or so months, for a relatively wide range of comics and genres. There are superhero covers, jungle covers, western covers, sword and sorcery covers, and horror covers. All in all a total of thirteen covers produced over five months, but a mighty four months indeed.

These covers are most memorable and linger in the mind long after the comics have ceased publication. Which is another common feature, aside from the Fantastic Four, not one of the features for which Steranko produced covers lasted longer than a few issues.

Why Steranko did these covers is a mystery to me, but perhaps he chose books that interested him or perhaps he merely took the assignment given him. Whatever the case these covers have proven to be durable pop culture items.

UPDATE: Thanks to new information, I realize I overlooked two of Steranko's SHIELD reprint covers. I've added them in. I'm very pleased indeed that I did this post, because I learned that Steranko produced the artwork for Fantastic Four #132, not something I realized before. That cover has been heavily altered by Marie Severin, but Steranko is in there.

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5 comments:

  1. There were actually 15 covers. You are missing some :)

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    1. The moment I read your note, I remembered the SHIELD covers I inexplicably forgot somehow. But I'll be darned if I can remember any others. What are they, if I may ask?

      Thanks

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  2. The only one you are missing is FF #132. For years I didn't think it was by Steranko (it is not signed). Then I saw this pencil version in Steranko: Visual Theory. I posted it here:
    http://thedrawingsofsteranko.com/Fantastic_Four_132_Steranko_original.jpg

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    1. I am so glad I ran this post. This is new information to me. I've had those FF comics since they came out, but I never realized Steranko produced that cover. The alterations by Marie Severin in the foreground caused my eye to ignore the clear Steranko background. Thanks so much for sharing Tony. I've altered the post to reflect the new info.

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  3. Maybe you should post the Steranko pencil version also to show how mangled it got when Marvel printed it. I was lucky enough to see the originals of most of these back in 1974, and believe me, Marvel mangled all of them. They are masterful works that are hard to appreciate fully the way they were printed and edited.

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