Thursday, November 19, 2009

Well, HE'S looking at a serious case of sunburn, isn't he?

This is the cover for Action Comics #5, with a November 1938. At this point, Action was an anthology book, featuring a variety of 6-page and 8-pages stories in each issue--including those featuring a new-fangled character named Superman.

Of course, the Last Son of Krypton proved to be enormously popular, kick-starting the dominance of super-hero characters in comic books. But only a few of the early Action Comics covers featured Superman. No one at DC Comics really expected him to be so incredibly popular.

And this is just as well--since the result was great covers like this. By the time Action Comics was into its second year, Superman was the regular subject on the covers. That's fine by itself, but it's nice that guys like the poor slob above had a chance to get their moments of glory. This is an excellent example of effective illustration--it really gives us a sense of immediate danger. I especially like the care the artist (Leo O'Mealia) took to include details like footprints on the sand and the hero's shadow stretched out behind him.

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