Blue Bolt #114, Star Publications, August 1952 – Artist: L.B. Cole.
Guys!! Don’t yell, just hear me out. I looked and I looked, compared and compared because I dared not role out 2 Coles in a row (though we are in Cole Country) unless I was sure of myself. Blue Bolt #114 is off the charts, the colors, the details, the composition, this is one of Coles best ever as far as I’m concerned and while there were other strong #114s none came close.
If I had nerves picking my Blue Bolt #114 imagine the butterflies I would have had if I went with my second pick I Love You #114. I liked Strange Tales #114 with it’s great battle scene and I liked the funky look of New X-Men #114. Being the patriotic Canadian kid that I am I almost went with House of Secrets #114, I think those guys played for my Leafs last night!
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.
What a day – Plenty of great covers and several Jimmy Olsen Award nominees as well. The current run of Blue Bolt covers is so outstanding it is hard to argue with any selection from the title. Sadly, I was unaware of the series before this column, but it has certainly been a wonderful discovery.
Several of the covers that caught my eye were nominated by Chris yesterday, and I thought Journey into Mystery #114 and Strange Tales #114 were great choices. Another great benefit of this column is that it has given me a reason to go to the comic room at home each night and get a look at my personal copies, and both of these were really outstanding, although I found myself favoring JIM #114. Another personal favorite that caught my eye was Adventure Comics #114 – a simple Superboy cover but one that really stood out.
However, when I saw GI Combat #114 I thought it was the real contender – what a great cover!
As to the Jimmy Olsen Award, it was almost stolen at the last minute by Walt! If he had followed his inclination and chosen I Love You #114 over the range of great covers today, not only would he have won the Jimmy, it might have been renamed in his honor.
But as Chris said yesterday, Batman #114 is VERY deserving winner of the Jimmy Olsen award. The art is terrible and the concept of “Bat-Ape” even more ridiculous. And the nominated cover of Romantic Story certainly would have won the Jimmy on any other day.
I _knew_ you were going to mention I Love You. Nice pop art but not a great _comic_ cover, no-name girl with only a wisp of a possible story. Agree that a JO award would have gone to Walt, not the cover.
As the tagline of this feature is “_A_ great comic book cover….” I can’t argue with the Cole pick. Unfortunately this cover fills me with regret because I was this close to buying a copy a couple of years back but it was “too expensive”. Ho ho ho.
If I were you I would still have a greasy, dirty feeling that I couldn’t shake if I picked this disconnected grotesque cover over what is arguably a key pivot point of comic book history, flawlessly executed to boot. But of course we have the I Love You evidence, which means that I could never be like you, twisted beyond recognition by your perverse preferences.
That House of Secrets really is great isn’t it?
Derrick, the problem with Adventure #114 is that it is just a sight gag. The Harvey kids’ books have many great sight gags, but almost none would be deemed “great” in my opinion. A really clever and well drawn sight gag, like the Plastic Man #33, might make the cut, but I think Adventure #114 is way below this threshold.
I thought that as the numbers increased we would head into the desert, but instead what I think we are seeing is survival of the fittest*. I seem to be coming up with more and more contenders each day. Walt is certainly a Nutty Professor (although he did not take my Jerry Lewis pick), but the education that we’re receiving via this feature would cost you $$$ via a college “pop culture” course.
Note the *asterisk above. I wrote this before I considered the #115 covers, but after careful and I think pretty objective consideration, that is my choice: “Survival of the Fittest”, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #115. This is Superman back to his true self, torturing his “best friend” and his close colleague. While the setup is ridiculous the cover is magnificent. If you are motivated to go with Cole again, think about different ways that “over the top” gets executed. Schomburg did it with his racist caricatures, his English-labeled weapons and bombs, his zillion fighters on one cover. Cole did it with his grotesque horrors and lurid colors. Adams did it too, but in what strikes me as a more ingenious way: by executing these ridiculous scenarios with the utmost artistic skill. While the Adams “classics” (e.g. Batman 227) go for many multiples of these, I am coming to prefer these crazy SGLL and SPJO covers.
With that off my chest, many runners up:
All-American Western – half my choice credited to the colorist
Blue Bolt – of course, but I much prefer #114
Captain America – ’nuff said
Captain Marvel Jr, – speaking of over the top
Incredible Hercules (variant) – so good that I am apt to exclude it, but it actually works
My Romantic Adventures – I was going to put this in the JOWA category but the art is simply too good – frightening now, but at the time?
Spawn – no story here but Wrightson-esq detail work that really comes together for a creepy effect
Superboy – I have just always loved this one – and how did they manage to take an x-ray of an invincible guy?
Ultimate Spider-Man (zombie variant) – phenomenal work
Unexpected – more traditional Adams, great composition
X-Men – another perfect Byrne composition/execution
And some JOWA/related:
Blackhawk – “a crawling hand with an intelligence of its own” – so what else is new?
Falling in Love – “Don’t worry – I’m not going to marry her!”
Sgt. Fury – yesterday it was Lisa, today it’s Baron Strucker
Chris’ third paragraph is probably the finest comment ever posted on this site. Walt, please print a copy and display it prominently! Outstanding.
But also, thanks for featuring these great Blue Bolt covers.
And yes, My Romantic Adventures #115 absolutely deserves some type of recognition tomorrow. Worst pick-up line ever. Maybe we have a WPUL award going forward…
hey Eric… remind me not to use Chris as a reference on my resume
I do like the WPUL idea – I say we make up awards as the covers force us to create them
How in the world did Star Comics dodge immediate lawsuits from DC comics for the blatant Batman emblems?!
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