Another week, another worst cover ever...and this one's a doozy!
Starting as early as the 1940's, comic book companies experimented with mixing real world photographs with comic book characters, getting results that (perhaps even at the time) looked a little strange. Part of the problem was that the image reproduction technology was still fairly crude, creating "special effect" covers that weren't particularly special OR effective.
Although printing and image reproduction technology had vastly improved from the 40's to the 70's, you'd never know it from the results that had found their way onto comic book covers. Case in point, the cover of SHAZAM! #6 (1973):
Though obviously intended to be a cozy, heartwarming scene, a whole host of factors conspired to made it simultaneously one of the most boring and bizarre covers of all time.
- A blank white background with all the homespun warmth of the Phantom Zone.
- Cap's freakishly deformed right hand (holding the unusually large infinity cover comic book).
- The garish "hand-tinted" coloring effect on the children. Apparently, the kids were the grandchildren of award-winning DC colorist Jack Adler. "Hey, grandpa, thanks for the sickly pea-green nightgown!"
- The boy's wince-inducing helmet hair, triggering far too many painful flashbacks of my grade school photos.
- The eerie, corpse-like pallor of the child slumped in Cap's arm, a tragic image oddly disconnected with Cap's big, squinty grin. Add to that the child's huge, clown-like feet and it's safe to say that whatever look they were shooting for here....just didn't happen.