Friday, January 8, 2016

Suggestion Unboxed - Who's the Best... Comic Book Cover featuring an Animal?



Doug: Back in October we ran a post requesting ideas from our readers. We promised to run all of those suggestions at some point. While we've covered many of them, it's been a while since some of those thoughts graced our blog. Here's another one:


Rob Anderson: Who's the best comic book cover featuring an animal or animals?

26 comments:

J.A. Morris said...

Does Jaxxon count as an animal?:

https://borgdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/star-wars-issue-8-marvel-comics.jpg

How about warthos?
http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Incredible_Hulk_Vol_1_202

Doug said...

The first cover that came to mind for me back when I was setting this up was Avengers #80. That issue introduced Red Wolf and his little doggie was quite menacing on that particular cover.

This is an interesting topic - it will be fun to see how far it goes.

Doug

Colin Jones said...

The first one that came to mind was Savage Sword Of Conan #4 (or #1 in the British version dated November 1977) - a painted cover by Boris Vallejo (I think) where Conan fights a giant killer ape. The story was "Iron Shadows In The Moon" which is my all-time favourite Conan tale - it was reprinted in colour in the 1978 Conan Treasury Edition with a new cover by John Buscema so I'll include that one too. Also, does Planet Of The Apes count ? If so, the covers of POTA magazine #2 and #7 (or #1 and #35 of the UK POTA weekly) which were the start of Marvel's adaptations of the first two apes films.

Edo Bosnar said...

J.A., I don't know about Jaxon; aside from the head, he doesn't really look much like a rabbit/hare, and since he could walk around and shoot a laser gun, I'm assuming he didn't count for an animal in the Star Wars universe. (That's not to say he isn't a bad character; those execrable prequels would have been a smidgen better if they'd had Jaxon instead of Jar Jar.)

Colin, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to mention covers with apes, because I think apes are by far the most over-represented animals on comic book covers, and sure enough, 3 comments in...

I think one of the best 'animal' covers is Thor #364, which I like better than the much more popular cover from issue #366. And honorable mention should go to Marvel's Tarzan #1 by Big John Buscema, one of many fantastic covers from that series.

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Humanbelly said...

Oh golly--
Marvel Age #30 is one of my favorite covers of all time. . . and it features ants most prominently (both visually and in the context of the scene), so I'm a-gonna go with that one.

Hmmm- is Godzilla an animal. . . ?

HB

david_b said...

Plenty to choose from, two I had as a kid were Shazam 7 (1973) with Mr. Tawny and 'course Jungle Action 6 with Kilmonger and a very cool leopard Preyy as the cover's second adversary.

As Doug will agree, Avengers 161's ants will ever be engrained into my childhood memory.

Clearly for the ants, of course.

Sure...

Anonymous said...

How about Star Spangled War Stories #126?

Actually, anything with gorillas is always good!

Mike Wilson

Humanbelly said...

Boy, ol' Conan's book had more than a few, didn't it? Sometimes the line between "animal" and "monster" is a trifle fuzzy, though, isn't it? Is a ridiculously large animal still just an animal? Heck, is King Kong an animal, for that matter?

HB (splitting the ol' hypothetical hares--- heh-heh-heh)

William said...

I'd have to go with Amazing Spider-Man #255, because it's a personal favorite issue of mine, and it features The Red Ghost and his Super Apes on the cover. (That's 3 apes!!)

Edo Bosnar said...

William, you jogged my memory banks with your suggestion, as I recalled yet another, earlier Spidey cover with Red Ghost and his Super-Apes: issue #223, which I like even better.

Martinex1 said...

I'm going to go with Fantastic Four 118. Not enough Lockjaw covers in the world. I have to say that I really enjoy the recent "Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers" covers... all good!

Anonymous said...

http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/37/22592_20060104223307_large.jpg


starfoxxx

Anonymous said...

HB, you took the thought right out of my head (rather than the words from my mouth!) - dunno if ol' Godzilla counts as an animal (if you can call a giant irradiated mix of T-rex, stegosaurus and iguanodon an animal!) but for some reason the cover of Marvel's Godzilla #1 by Herb Trimpe stands out in my mind.

Also, the cover of Werewolf by Night #38 is quite memorable; dunno if werewolves count here, but at least there's a dog on the cover too.


- Mike 'it ain't easy being green' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Humanbelly said...

How in the world did we miss this--?:
I have only a few scattered issues of the book, but I did recall that ANIMAL MAN's covers- while they trended 'WAY towards the bizarre, macabre, and surreal- were in their way striking and beautiful works of comic art for about the first 50 issues or so. And naturally, a good number of them featured an array of animals very prominently. So, after browsing a cover browser (heh) a bit, I'm going to go with issue #41, simply for it's fine, detailed picture of a chicken (or is it a rooster?).

Man-- a lot of memorable covers in that run-- truly.

HB

Rip Jagger said...

My pick is Justice League of America #132 with the League facing off against "The Beasts Who Fought Like Men". Ernie Chua/Chan at his finest and weirdest. The giraffe is my favorite.

Check it out here:

http://www.comics.org/issue/29984/cover/4/

Edo Bosnar said...

Rip, that's a good one. Don't think I've ever seen it before - it's an interesting variation on the confrontation-line covers.

HB, that's definitely a hen on the Animal Man cover: you can tell right away by the smaller comb and wattles. However, even if you don't know about the details that distinguish roosters from hens, the fact that it's sitting in a nest with an egg hatching next to it should be a dead giveaway (for unlike some other bird species, like ostriches or penguins, where the males either participate in or entirely incubate the eggs, chickens are pretty patriarchal, and the roosters never sit on the eggs). It's getting pretty obvious that I grew up on a farm, isn't it?

RobAnderson said...

Wow, I'm embarrassed to say I forgot I even suggested this one! Great job, Rob-from-the-past-I-don't-remember.

Late to the party, as always, but my all-time favorite is DC's From Beyond the Unknown #23

http://www.mvstamps.com/cgs/BAB_FromBeyondTheUnknown23.jpg

This cover was like comic crack to my eight-year-old mind -- a GORILLA with a GUN, stealing LIBRARY BOOKS, with a PRETTY LIBRARIAN that obviously needed rescuing (presumably by eight-year-old me...somehow). Plus, the gorilla is going to use BOOKS TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD?!?! All illustrated by my favorite DC cover artist, NICK CARDY (though I didn't realize he was drawing most of my favorite DC covers until much, much later...) What Bronze Age fun!

RobAnderson said...

Man, I just can't seem to get outside links to work when I post here no matter what I do! Anyway, here's the link (sans, helpful actual link)

http://www.mvstamps.com/cgs/BAB_FromBeyondTheUnknown23.jpg

And a final attempt to get the link to actually work:

http://www.mvstamps.com/cgs/BAB_FromBeyondTheUnknown23.jpg

Edo Bosnar said...

Rob, that's a great cover (and it also goes toward proving my point above about apes on comic book covers) - I'd seen that one somewhere before on the internets, and it gets me to thinking again how reading Robinson Crusoe, Moby Dick and Treasure Island can impart the knowledge and/or power to conquer the world. Or does that only apply to apes (i.e., non-human primates) who read those three books?

Redartz said...

Very late to this party. But had to comment on those Animal Man covers I have never read, or even held any; but HB is right: those covers are very striking. Are the insides (and the stories therein) as good?

Humanbelly said...

I recall my sampling was too sporadic to get a good sense, Redartz-- but I feel like the interior script and storytelling kind of lacked the sense of depth that the covers sort of promised.

Ha! Edo, that's what I get for speed-browsing through all those covers! Okay, yes, YES, it's cuh-learly a hen-! Oh, what a silly boob am I--!

And what in the world could be the common, world-conquering element in Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, and Moby Dick-- that's a very good question! The first two have sort of the same adventure-y, youthful appeal. . . but Moby Dick?? Just. . . not even the same kind of literary work at all! Anyone out there able to take on the quest of finding that story and providing an answer, hmm?

HB

RobAnderson said...

Edo & Humanbelly, I used to have the issue, but don't recall the mystery of the books. However, I gave in and just picked one up on ebay -- since I'm planning to include it in my custom comic calendar next year anyway. Once I receive, I'll let you guys know the answer!

Humanbelly said...

Ah-- Bless ya Rob-- thanks for the indulgence!

HB

RobAnderson said...

OK, received and read the "gorilla with library books" story, reprinted in From Beyond the Unknown #23. I don't know where to begin...

These aliens look through a telescope and decide they want to conquer Earth, but their "view," of course, is from 100,000 years ago...when...gorillas had a civilization and ruled the Earth. So, naturally, they decide to disguise their spy as a gorilla and send him off in a ship.

Even though their technology only allowed them to look through a telescope with a 100,000-year-old view, their space-faring technology allowed them to reach Earth in days, where, surprise!, humans now rule.

Luckily, the alien-gorilla-spy crash-lands in a jungle, and, luckily, he runs into humans trying to capture a gorilla to test out a ray that will turn him into a human. Man, that's some SERIOUS luck!

To cut to the chase (and it's way more complicated), the gorilla-alien-spy realizes the plans for the changing machine are hidden inside some library books and he eventually escapes and goes to the library to retrieve the plans. Because, if he can only transform to a human form, he can then spy, repair his ship, and presumably allow his alien people to conquer the world.

Spoiler: although he gets the books/plans (without use of a gun, as shown on the cover, by the way!), he takes off in a car, and crashes off a cliff, killing him. I think the moral of the story is gorillas shouldn't drive cars?

Fun, goofy read, and I still love that Nick Cardy cover!!

Edo Bosnar said...

Rob, thanks for the summary! And yes, I believe that, indeed, gorillas should not drive motor vehicles (or operate any other sort of heavy machinery).
It's actually got me thinking, by the way, that with a few tweaks here and there, this could be made in a fantastic SF spoof movie...

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