Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cover Story: John Stanley cover art for two issues of 13 Going On 18!

This is a guest post, courtesy of my lifelong friend and comix conspirator Paul Tumey.

His blog, COLE'S COMICS, has really raised the bar on comix criticism and analysis. I encouraged him to blog on Cole, and the results are stunning, in my book.

Paul scouted out the contents of today's posts, via Heritage Auctions' website. If you want to see a LOT of classic comix artwork, gratis, and help yourself to hi-rez scans of same, visit their site. Be prepared to blow a lot of time trolling the ever-changing contents.

Paul was kind enough to provide some smart commentary on these pieces, so I'm going to sit back and let his fingers do the walking (and talking).

First up is the cover art to 13 Going on 18 #18. Paul's notes are below...

"...perhaps most interesting of all is that the white out he originally applied has flaked off, revealing a more gruesome injury on the boy's face. I've included the printed cover for comparison, in which you can see how Stanley (or an editor) softened the expression. In a way, this art is rather emblematic of Stanley in that it is lighthearted and fun in appearance, but scratch the surface of his stories, and you will discover a darker view of life that is even more compelling."


Next is the cover for issue 21. As Paul notes, the gags on both covers center on sports injuries. See his thoughts below...

"As in the art for the cover of issue 18, the joke centers around the boy being roughed up, and his dazed, out of it expression shows that the girl's hectoring is the least of his worries. The joke is the girl's obliviousness. A little dark, when you think of it. The artwork is beautiful, and affords us a rare chance to study Stanley's work in as pure as form as it gets."

If you haven't visited COLE'S COMICS yet, Paul's comments may whet your appetite for more of his writing and analysis.

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