Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dagar The Duplicate!

Here is the rather exciting debut cover for Gold Key's Tales of Sword and Sorcery - Dagar the Invincible< from 1972.  Dagar created and produced by Don Glut and Jesse Santos was Gold Key's entry into the then burgeoning world of comic book sword and sorcery which had been sparked by the unexpected success of Marvel's Conan the Barbarian. Here is what Don Glut has to say about the creation of his memorable barbarian comic hero.

Here is a real treat, the original artwork produced by Jesse Santos for the debut cover. I found this gem here.

And here is the painted cover art by Gold Key mainstay George Wilson developed from the Santos drawing.

And here's a real oddity. This is the nineteenth and final cover of the series which represents the debut story along with the a variation of the same artwork. At this point in 1982 Gold Key was no more and this single edition of Tales of Sword and Sorcery - Dagar the Invinible is from the Whitman brand. Note the cover art is no longer painted, which was typical for Whitman covers at this time, but also note that this is not the Jesse Santos original artwork. This cover seems to have been drawn by Dan Spiegle, at least it looks so to my eye. Was the original Santos artwork lost? Was it deemed inappropriate for some reason? I would love to know.

To read this epic barbaric debut in its entirety, check out this link.

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  1. Maybe it was the Whitman style. I don't remember any painted covers for Whitman. Dr. Solar also went to the more traditional comic book cover look when it was briefly revived at this time.

    1. I think that's right. The Whitman brand didn't seem to have any of the painted covers. It seems they wanted to blend into the comic book landscape and seem less literary which is what I think the painted cover thing did for Gold Key for years. The books seemed more adult somehow.

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    2. I think they were a lot more adult than contemporaneous Marvel and D.C. Certainly less melodramatic and more "realistic." Dr. Solar's actions and motivations were totally grounded and believable, for instance.


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