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Friday, July 08, 2011

Scott McCullar’s 10 Favorite Comic Book Covers


One of my favorite features in COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE magazine each month is when the editor allows a renowned comic book creator to pick their "Top 10 Favorite Comic Book Covers."

Since I don’t think they’ll be knocking on my door anytime soon to ask me to offer mine for the magazine, I instead thought it would be fun to go ahead and post them on my blog.

Sure, there are countless other more famous covers to choose from that are iconic in a sense that they might make it onto U.S. postage stamps. But when I sat down to think of the first top ten that made it onto my list, I realized that these images have been burned into my psyche…

(Not in any necessary order - all the books are in my collection)

GREEN ARROW - GREEN LANTERN #1 (October 1983) © DC Comics
Cover: Neal Adams

This was part of the a seven issue mini-series that reprinted the original “Hard Traveling Heroes” storyline from Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ classic Green Arrow/Green Lantern series from the early 1970’s. I had just read GREEN ARROW: LONGBOW HUNTERS and was hooked on the new monthly GA series by Mike Grell. I found this mini-series in the back issues bin to catch up on this classic storyline that I kept hearing people talk about that came out about the time I was born. Neal Adams has always been one of my favorite artists that I grew up on in the 1970’s as a kid.

ACTION COMICS WEEKLY #608 (July 1988) © DC Comics
Cover: Brian Bolland

Black Canary, sassy and sexy as ever in her fishnet stockings, burns her gawd-awful Olivia Newton-John “Lets Get Physical” bad 1980’s costume that had the headband. She was back in all her bountiful beauty. By Brian Bolland. Another favorite artist… especially when it comes for him drawing the ladies.

SGT. ROCK #372 (January 1983) © DC Comics
Cover: Joe Kubert

This cover caught my eye when I was 12 years old and I was hooked on Sgt. Rock and Easy Company. What a terrifying and haunting cover that made you want to look inside. By Joe Kubert. He is the man. One of my top favorite artists.

SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE #29 (November 1961) © DC Comics
Cover: Curt Swan

I love Curt Swan. He is THE artist who defined the look of Superman for over 30 years. But it was this cover with my favorite hero – Green Arrow – making his move on Lois Lane that makes me laugh all the time. Top that with the recent romance of Oliver Queen and Lois Lane some five decades later in the SMALLVILLE television series, I thought this was a hoot. Makes me grin everytime that he is the man with the mojo. Step aside Super Friends. Also, I highly recommend finding the book, CURT SWAN – A LIFE IN COMICS by Eddy Zeno to read on the life of Curt Swan. Again, another favorite artist.

G.I. JOE #23 (May 1984 ) © Marvel Comics / Hasbro Toys
Cover: Michael Golden

Gotcha! This cover was just cool as a kid. The Hunt for Cobra Commander and the G.I. Joe team caught the bad guy. Clutch and Roadblock.. two of the toughest cusses on the G.I. Joe team. Just my favorite G.I. Joe cover by Michael Golden.

LONE WOLF & CUB #4 (1987) Published by First Publishing
Cover: Frank Miller

Most folks know Frank Miller from DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, SIN CITY, or more recently 300 with the movie adaptation. He has a bunch of covers that are much more famous. But for me… seeing this picture of Itto Ogami taking on the three ninja mercenaries out of the bloodiest film I had ever seen in my life called SWORD OF VENGEANCE just peeked my interest. Frank Miller turned me on to LONE WOLF & CUB. This was the Japanese manga series from the early 1970’s by another one of my favorite creative teams – Goseki Kojima and Kazue Koike. The suspense of the bloodshed about to happen is just a moment of way as arteries are about to whistle in the wind from being cut by Ogami’s katana.

STAR TREK ANNUAL #2 (1991) © DC Comics / Paramount
Cover: Jerome Moore

“I need my pain.” Captain James T. Kirk. Captain of the Starship Enterprise. My longtime hero. Here he is illustrated photo-realistically by Jerome Moore in a montage that shows him at various stages of his life. I always loved this cover and I’ve always loved everything that Jerome Moore has ever drawn.

WORLD OF KRYPTON #3 (September 1979) © DC Comics
Cover: Ross Andru and Dick Giordano

The colors on this book and the iconic feel of who and where the Man of Steel came from was summed up perfectly for this cover. This is my favorite Superman cover from the thousands that are out there now.

BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #11 (September 1990) © DC Comics
Cover: Paul Gulacy
It was difficult to pick a single Batman cover. Not that I was hunting for one. But I remember reading this comic book during my freshman year of college – not too long after the 1989 Batman movie with Michael Keaton had come out. This just captured the “bat demon from hell” look of Batman for me that made the Dark Knight a scary creature of the night that put fear in the hearts of criminals. This is my favorite “Dracula” like pose of Batman with his cape raised like a bat as he is underground in his Batcave with either infrared lights glowing or perhaps some lava glow. Okay, maybe not lava glow… but this was one HOT cover.

SHOOTING STAR COMICS ANTHOLOGY #6 (February 2005) Published by Shooting Star Comics, LLC
Cover: Mike Grell and Scott McCullar

Okay… this one is hard to be objective on. This is an excellent cover penciled and inked by my favorite artist, Mike Grell. You know, there are countless more memorable covers that Mike Grell has done… especially for Green Arrow, Warlord, and Jon Sable. But this one is a favorite because he did this cover for me. Pictured is my character, the Yellow Jacket: Man of Mystery and a few other characters that appeared in this story SHOOTING STAR COMICS ANTHOLOGY. This ended up being the last issue of the anthology series though we had more planned. Grell is a master artist. And for me… I had the extreme pleasure and honor of coloring it. Yep, a Mike Grell and Scott McCullar collaboration. A dream come true.

That’s it. There is my “top 10”. I hoped you got a kick out of my personal picks.


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