Friday, November 22, 2013

The Monsters!

James Bama
Walter Baumhofer
 In the James Bama interview I referenced here yesterday, he also comments on the remarkable similarity between his cover for the seventh Doc Savage paperback from Bantam for a story titled "The Monsters" and the earlier 1930's cover by Walter Baumhofer for the same tale. It's only logical to assume that Bama derived some inspiration from this original pose, but he says it's merely a matter of two artists identifying the most interesting scene in the story and working to make that scene as dramatic and dynamic as possible to lure in the paying customers. There's no reason to doubt Bama on this as he is remarkably frank throughout the interview about where some of the imagery he used as reference came from. He says he never saw the Baumhofer cover and that makes perfect sense for a guy who was so in a time when finding such things was much much harder than in today's internet-mad world.

"The Monsters" is on my short list of favorite Doc yarns. I first fell in love with its outrageous scenario when it was adapted by Steve Englehart and Ross Andru for the 70's Marvel color comic. 

Gil Kane and Tom Palmer
Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia

I didn't get the opportunity to read the original pulp story until Anthony Tollin's Sanctum Books reprinted it several years ago. It's an amazing story filled with high-octane excitement, one of the most extreme Doc Savage stories ever.

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