Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Distinguished Competition: More June 1976 Cover Logos!

Doug: Hey, kids -- it's our second and final look at what DC published with a cover date of June 1976. Today we'll conclude our alphabetized look at what ol' National Periodical was throwing out there as competition against the beast that was Marvel Comics in the Bronze Age. Don't get too excited...

Doug: Kobra -- a book I never read. I couldn't even tell you the basic premise. I saw an article about it in Back Issue recently, but I didn't read it. So, as far as the book -- no comment. But, as far as the logo... I sort of like it. At least the intent is there. The hooded cobra-look to the K is nice, as is the tail on the A. But something about the font is just off enough to lead me to not say "this is a winner". I'll give the "A" for effort, but it's certainly not quite there yet. This is light years, however, ahead of most of what DC was doing at this time in terms of creativity.

Karen: I did read that Back Issue article, and I can tell you, I don't think either of us missed anything. This looks really goofy to me - all the rounded letters reminds me of the old "Plop" logo -it makes me think of a humor mag.

Doug: When a 1/2" headshot of ol' Rock by Joe Kubert is all ya got going for you, that's not good.

Karen: Someone wake me up when we get a good logo. Zzzzzz.....

Doug: Man, I sound like a broken record -- I have never seen the inside of one of these books. But, I will say that the logo shows imagination and seems appropriate for the irreverent contents of the book. So score one for the art department with this title!

Karen: Holy cow, here's Plop! I swear, I didn't look ahead! OK, for a humor book, I think it works fine.

Doug: Sigh... again. I will say that this logo blows away what ol' Shang chi was sporting at the House of Ideas. This is creatively relevant. Good stuff.

Karen: It works fine, although it seems a bit dated now. Actually it makes me want to order some Chinese take-out.

Doug: Now we're talking! Simple, yet dynamic. Equal billing for the star and the stars. And you'll recall from our past forays into fonts that I'm a sucker for italicized titles. Good one here, and I love the roll call in the right half of the banner.

Karen: A nostalgic favorite of mine, even if it is a wee bit too large.

Doug: Another classic Golden Age logo that was still relevant in the Bronze Age and down to today. I've always liked this, and it's instantly recognizable. You don't even have to read the word to know what it says. And the color scheme here just happens to be Supes' colors. Nice job!

Karen: You can't argue with a classic.

Doug: Love it! And I'm really glad Marvel chose to use the same logo when they appropriated the license in 1977. The nod to ERB is a nice touch, and the Kubert image from the cover of DC's very first Tarzan issue is wonderful. This may be one of the best in the batch!

Karen: It doesn't really express anything about Tarzan, but it's kind of classy.

Doug: Meh... you can have it. The "Weird" is sort of cool though. But doesn't the rest of it look hand-lettered? There's just no professionalism to it!

Karen: Gee, you're right, the A and R in War look sort of's a real hodge-podge of a logo.

Doug: This is another logo that was on the title from its inception. It's OK, but nothing to write home about. I do, however, like the iconic images of Supes and Bats on the left and their very cool logos on the right. So the banner ends up making this a winner for me.

Karen: Another yawn-inducing logo.

Doug: So Marvel must have just been pounding DC into the ground in 1976. Look at what's missing here -- no Green Lantern (as we said last time), no Teen Titans (hadn't been revived yet), no Wonder Woman, no JSA in All-Star Comics, no Hawkman, no Atom, no Aquaman... I mean, these are marquee characters! Where are they? There isn't even anything really new in these posts. This is just not good if you're trying to up your market share. Proof's in the pudding here, kids.


Mart said...

Good call on the similarity of the Plop! and Kobra logos - I've never seen that version of the latter. It's so slithery.

ChrisPV said...

If you look at the history, it's not hard to get the impression that DC has been spending pretty much all its effort since the '60s jogging belatedly after Marvel. Which is a shame really, because DC has (or at least had) its own very distinct identity. Bizarre stuff like the composite Superman just couldn't happen at Marvel, methinks.

The Groovy Agent said...

Fun post! Never noticed the similarity between the Plop! and Kobra logos--that's pretty wild!

I think you're right about missing some of the "marquee" characters, but remember a LOT of DC's books were bi-monthlies at that time, and by picking the June 1976 cover-dates, you picked an "in-between" month for Aquaman (who was headlining Adventure) and All-Star Comics featuring the JSA. We were also a couple months away from the revived Gl/GA mag (GL had been appearing in the back of the Flash since his mag's demise, GA rotating in the back of Action with Human Target and the Atom). Hawkman could occasionally be found in the back of Detective. Now, if you look at the comics that actually came out in the Summer of 1976 (cover-dated September, October, and November--crazy, ain't it?), I think you'll see DC was doing pretty much what you wanted 'em to do.


Doug said...

True, Groove -- good points! And to be fair, Marvel was from time-to-time on a bi-monthly publishing schedule with several of their B-list titles (Daredevil, I believe, for example).

Well, this can only mean that we'll have to move ahead to 1978 or 1979 and DO THIS AGAIN!!

This has been fun -- covers and such are some of the anchors of memory to these days of yore.

Keep on keepin' on --


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