Covered 365: Day 108

Action Comics #108, DC Comics, May 1947 – Artist: Jack Burnley.

Something about molten pots full of funky molten color. This cover is just a cool visual, the kind of cover you want the moment you see it.

What else was nice… I liked Girls’ Romances #108 (another cool visual effect), Charlton’s Ghostly Tales #108 and All American Western #108.

A great comic book cover matching each day of the year, 1 through 365. Please chime in with your favourite corresponding cover, from any era.

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Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.
Articles: 1584

6 Comments

  1. Action Comics #108 is one of the great Superman covers. The dominant feature is the rich color, but the layout and staging are also superb. As you said, as soon as you see it you want a copy and it is definitely high on my wish list. But, as with many GA Superman’s, finding a quality grade copy is always a challenge. And this issue (along with Action Comics #61, #89, & #101) needs to be a little higher grade to fully appreciate the effect.

    Although not presenting any challenge to Action #108, I thought there were several really good western covers today, including your referenced All American Western, as well as a Gil Kane cover on Two Gun Kid and a Lieber cover on Rawhide Kid.

    The Ghostly Tales cover also jumped off the page, and has a pretty visceral impact. But Charlton earned a Jimmy Olsen Award for its cover of Just Married #108.

  2. Walter, another fine choice. I am with Derrick, after so many years I am still looking for a decent (which for me would be in FINE) copy of this. Jack Burnley was just possibly DC’s finest 1940s cover artist. He created so many iconic covers. I would love to see, and handle for my customers, a book on his career, but apparently we have to settle for the occasional magazine, I think there is one in article in the late Comic Book Marketplace.

    All American Western #108 also is a killer cover and could have got my vote. I do hope you tap another cover from Toth’s run on this title, it was a break-out period for him. I’d also vote for one of the magnificent Gil Kane covers coming up shortly on All Star Western. Starting with #102, Kane’s run is just amazing. I’m partial to the very last one, #119, with Johnny Thunder and Madame .44 together in a gunfight.

    Interestly, this is the July 1961 issue, with ads inside for, get this, G. I. Combat and The Haunted Tank, art by Russ Heath, Justice League of America #5, art by Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs, Flash #121 and Mystery in Space #68, art by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson. What a summer month for kids in 1961! Marvel monster books were fun that year, but DC clearly ruled the stands with amazing art and stories. Fantastic Four #1 was still several months away.

    And I second Derrick with his Jimmy Olsen award on your Girls’ Romance choice. An interesting but failed effort, can’t see this standing out on any newstand.

  3. And that Ghostly Tales! How did THAT get passed by the comics code?

    It reminds me of original Spectre in the forties, and when he was revived in Adventure Comics—melting bad guys into puddles…

    This is from Wikipedia: In the 1970s, DC revived the Spectre in the superhero anthology series Adventure Comics. Beginning with the 12-page “The Wrath of … the Spectre” in issue #431 (Feb. 1974). Writer Michael Fleisher and artist Jim Aparo produced 10 stories through issue #440 (July 1975)[8] that became controversial for what was considered gruesome, albeit bloodless, violence.

    PS—even easier than Grand Comics Database, a good place for readers to see your runner-up covers is mycomicshop.com. The issue search goes right to the cover. I just put the Ghostly Tales in my shopping cart (unabashed plug, but I do like these guys, Buddy Saunders does a great job).

  4. Bud – Thanks for the database references to see the other covers mentioned. In the earlier months of this column I started by going through my collection boxes looking at back issues. But I got a little better at finding some back issue cover (Shelton Drum at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find offered a suggestion) but I still find it difficult to finds all the references.

  5. OK fellas it’s official, the Jimmy Olsen Award is now a thing. Perhaps we can use JO ? The JO goes to…? the JOWA goes to…?

    Panning Girls’ Romances #108! Reminds me of an old SCTV skit where a pretentious movie critic (Martin Short – a Hamilton boy) asks Bob Hope (Dave Thomas) who his favorite actor is – Olivier ? Brando ? – Bob Hope answers – I kind of like that kid Gil Gerrard…

    Its funny Bud but this cover exercise helped me discover Burnley, I used to lump in all the big logo Action covers together but having closer looks its undeniable, Burnley is an amazing artist.

  6. I am happy that the JOWA is now in place, I will take some credit. I will tell you that I will cry when #133 comes along, and gloat when #135 comes along. Jimmy is near and dear to my heart, as was clearly the case for King Kirby as well.

    All American Western #108 is indeed great. That is another example of me overlooking a cover because the thumbnail is blurry. This is a Gerber problem as well – if you are going to do this kind of review with Gerber, you better have a nice magnifying glass handy. I bought a set off of Amazon with just that purpose in mind.

    I spent some time considering Girls’ Romances. I cannot call it great but it is definitely striking. It says something about DC’s committed readership at that point that they would use this unusual/simple cover.

    Let me also quote some of the earlier comments:

    Derrick: “Kane”

    Bud: “Kane” “Kane”

    I have to say “I told you so”. If I am taking just one thing away after nearly four months into this exercise, it is “Gil Kane covers”. I’ll bet if you put a big list of cover artist names together and have collectors rank them (Adams, Wrightson, Schomburg, Lee, McFarlane, Kane…), Kane is going to come in pretty low. But if you actually look through the covers, his keep jumping out. He is like a guy with a super high batting average who doesn’t hit home runs – except to break the analogy, you start to realize that he was hitting home runs. After the next plasma sale, the money is going straight to a rare Kane cover.

    I think Bud got mixed up re Girls’ Romances vs. Just Married. I actually am onboard in both cases – again the thumbnail issue led me to miss Just Married. Actually this cover is quite topical if you follow the James Charles/Coachella memes. (I am only up to speed with these because of my teenage daughters.)

    Bud is right about MCS vs. GCD for particular issues. The problem is that (as far as I can tell), you can only get a series of thumbnails from MCS based on title, not on issue number across titles. MCS’s cover database appears to be better than GCD’s but I think there is a cost issue associated with querying it. (I have had good experiences generally with MCS but a somewhat rocky customer service interaction when talking to them once, until they realized that I had made a high dollar purchase. I can imagine they have to deal with some difficult customers, but they should first confirm they are difficult…)

    I chose another source but a nice and reasonably-priced copy of Ghostly Tales is on its way.

    Issue #109 hearkens back to the days of single digits with the number of covers to choose from. I count SEVENTEEN finalists in my image folder. I know the sponsors of this site are almost requiring the pick of X-Men, and I admit I love that cover (especially since the only suggestion is that this guy could beat up non-AMERICAN superheroes), but it is not the pick. I really really want to pick Sensation, but I am going to have to go with Captain America. This cover pretty much violates my principles, but come on. It doesn’t get much more comic booky than this.

    Others:

    Incredible Hulk v2 is just standing around, but it is really cool, a good follow-on to #108. In fact a lot of those v2 covers are amazing, but I as others have been slanting this exercise towards more classic work.

    Incredible Hulk v1 is no slouch, probably some of my favorite work by Trimpe.

    Iron Man is one of about zillion great Byrne covers.

    Marvel Tales is a great period gag cover.

    Police – look at the price inversion for this one in GPA. Absolutely nobody used to care about it. Good luck getting a copy now.

    Strange Adventures – Fabulous. Had to look it up. Who did it? GIL KANE!

    Strange Tales – Great updating of Kirby monsters in the classic title to the hero days.

    Thunderbolts – don’t know the story, but the cover is very cool

    But I can’t stop there. Walt now has me reading every single romance cover. Falling in Love is brutal. Girls’ Love Stories rates just because of the look on the brunette’s face. Girls’ Romances – is that Ringo or Donald Trump?

    Finally we see that Superman had been working on his attitude for years with Superboy #109. “And don’t worry about Krypto.. I’ve chained him with a kryptonite leash.” Classy.

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