Covered 365: Day 116

Tomahawk #116, DC Comics, May/June 1968 – Artist: Neal Adams.

You cannot take your eyes off Tomahawk #116, the colors, the hues, the tones, the action, the mood, Neal knocked it out of the park with this one.

While we’re here celebrating this fine cover I think we should give props to Warren Stattler’s Billy the Kid #115, another fine cover.

For may Day #116 brought out loads of great covers, tons of them. I think I’ll link each pic to prove my point.

I probably should have picked Blue Bolt #116 but we’re boycotting Cole for a while on the count that he don’t play fair. I did an Undervalued Spotlight a while ago on Action Comics #116 based solely on how cool the cover was. I was thinking of picking Secret Hearts #116 but then I realized I already did in day #92! And how about Romantic Stories #116, I think it’s a story about Barbershop Quartet groupies. Avengers #116 deserves mention as does Famous Funnies #116. It was a great day for covers !

Speaking of tough decisions to make perhaps I should have picked one of my personal favorites, I Love You #116, I love this cover so much I bought the original Tom Sutton painting!

I’m thinking the JOWA should go to Superboy #116, was anybody actually doing any work at DC in the early 1960s?

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.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

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4 years ago

A fabulous piece of art. To label this as a comic book cover does not do it justice. The imagery captured in the composition, color and tone of this cover is simply spectacular.

I did not take a sneak peek ahead even after seeing Chris’s nomination of Tomahawk #116 yesterday. So this morning was my first view of this cover, and I suddenly feel as though I have been missing many of the best works of Neal Adams. I had been working through collecting the Adams covers from Detective and Batman titles, and the more iconic Action and Superman covers, but now I think I have been missing many of his finest works. This column led me to the discovery of his work on the House of Secrets and Brave & the Bold covers from a few weeks back which nudged me down that collecting path, but today’s example of Adams’ talent eclipses them all. However, I have a feeling a quality copy of this comic may be very difficult to obtain.

Although none presented any rival to the virtuosity of Tomahawk #116, as I browsed other #116 covers this morning, I came to agree with Walt’s assessment that #116 had plenty of quality. However, with the exception of Action Comics #116, my list differed slightly from Walt’s.

• Star Spangled Comics (another Tomahawk c/)
• House of Secrets (this title is a cover goldmine)
• Unexpected
• X-Men (the Byrne run on X-Men is truly outstanding)
• JLA (Batman vs. Hawkman)
• Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man ( vs. Sabretooth)
• Sweethearts (as a nod to Walt, the art was fantastic)

But I thought there were some Jimmy Award winners among the #116 bunch as well!

• Jimmy Olsen (the effect of his forced marriage on Day #98 finally caught up with him)
• Girls Romance (Chris’ evil brunette appears again)
• Justice League of America 100 page Spectacular ( I think the face of Aquaman had to inspire the concept of Admiral Ackbar)

On a final note, I think Dennis the Menace Bonus Magazine Series #116 deserves a look, as “Dennis the Menace Goes to Washington, DC”. It is something about the hair…

Chris Meli
4 years ago

I have developed a theory. I am concerned that revealing it here might trigger a complete emotional collapse in our dear blog poster if too close to the truth, but for the benefit of the broader community I feel that I must share it.

Hearken back to a middle school art show many, many, many years ago. A young and as yet uncorrupted Walter Durajlija and a buddy are perusing their peers’ works critically. Walter’s appreciation of art has been honed on, among others, the glorious covers of Neal Adams such as the one reproduced above. Obviously none of the art on display can hold a candle to that level of talent, and Walter fixes his eye on a particularly crude example. It is a childish drawing of a girl in a paper doll pose, wearing a puffy polka-dot patterned shirt and striped bell-bottom pants, her long straight blonde hair framing what amounts to a classic smiley-face button. She stands in a field of happy little doodle daisies.

Walter turns to his buddy: “What an embarrassment! What kind of fool would allow their utter lack of talent to be displayed in this way, for all to calumniate and besmirch?” His buddy is transfixed – not only in his failed attempt to decipher Walter’s vocabulary, but also because directly behind Walter stands Lola Loon, Walter’s long-held but unrequited crush. Lola erupts: “I DREW THAT! Walter Durajlija, I had hoped you would ask me to this weekend’s Sugar Maple tapping – but now I never want to speak to you again! I HATE YOU!” Lola flees the scene.

It is as if Walter has fallen into an infinite well. His spur-of-the-moment glib criticism seems equivalent to a spur-of-the-moment decision not to use one’s newly-found powers to stop a thief as he rushes past. One lapse and life is changed forever.

Unfortunately we are all too familiar with the outcome, how one event nearly unknown or forgotten by all others has created a club soda-swilling, off-color phrase-associating “adviser”. While the event itself is lost in the mists of time, the evidence arises here: day in, and day out, to quixotically right the wrong that can never be righted, a parade of crude romance comic covers represented as “great”. Today we see the skin nearly rubbed raw, as our deviant correspondent not only puts such forward, but admits to his conquest of a particular original piece. Alas, as close as it is, there are no happy little doodle daisies, and so still no peace.


Regardless of the accuracy of my theory, there really should be some penalty associated with mentioning Tomahawk #116 and Secret Hearts #116 in the same post.

For #117 I am not seeing much. I will follow my own quixotic proclivities and once again go with the completely bizarre and flawlessly executed Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen. It is fait accompli that Walter will pick Savage Dragon.

Chris Meli
4 years ago

Hmmm… Derrick’s comments are progressing rapidly. The eyebrow rises in a first glimmer of interest – or is it concern? Many are called, but few are chosen.

Grasshopper, when you can snatch the pebble from my hand…

Chris Meli
4 years ago

To give Mr. Adams perhaps more credit than he deserves – is the composition angle a “weak link”, or a clear thematic choice? The viewer is staring right into Tomahawk’s vulnerability, emphasizing the character’s helplessness. We should add this one versus Secret Hearts to the list of discussion topics for Neal, and when get to this point we can ask him if he has any drafts that might indicate how the final composition choice was made.

4 years ago

Thanks to Chris for finally shedding some light on the source of the Romance cover fascination that has seeped into this column. But the insight may have come too late, because I now find myself pausing over every “Romantic Story”, “Just Married” and “Sweethearts” cover, reading the dialogue and looking at the set-up and “meet cutes” going on throughout the scene.

As for tomorrow, in an attempt to fend off Savage Dragon, I would offer Ultimate Spider-Man #117 for consideration.