Prior to starting the Comic Coverage blog in August of 2006, I wrote dozens of Cover to Cover columns for Scott Tipton's Comics 101 site as one of his "guest lecturers". In fact, those columns were the basis for my choosing "Comic Coverage" as this blog's title, since I initially made comic book covers its primary focus. Although I quickly abandoned the cover-centric approach to encompass all of the things I love about comics, I still consider my Cover to Cover columns to be the foundation of Comic Coverage, and a body of work I'm very proud of. Here they are in chronological order:
The Floating Heads of Marvel Comics: Tracing the history of Marvel Comics' penchant for covers featuring floating, disembodied heads!
The Many Deaths of Barry (Flash) Allen: Although Barry is now back among the living, it seemed to me that his legendary death during Crisis on Infinite Earth was almost a foregone conclusion! Based on the sheer number of covers featuring a dead and dying Flash, it was clear that Barry Allen was a man marked for death!
Take This Job and Shove It: Quitting a job in righteous indignation is by no means confined to the real world, but extends into the fanciful world of comic book superheroes as well! Yes, even costumed champions of justice have been known to storm off the job in cold, Johnny Paycheck-like fury!
Lo, There Shall Come...Hippies! Superheroes meet the 1960's counter-culture (by way of tie-wearing, middle aged comic book creators)
Girl Germs! Since young boys were the primary readers of superhero comics, the heroes and their supporting casts routinely reenacted common boyhood anxieties. Chief among those anxieties was the ever-present “danger” of.... GIRLS!
Superheroes Gone MAD! Superheroes have always stood for the best humanity has to offer. As promoters of justice, fair play and civic-minded benevolence, these comic book champions were models of stable, mature adulthood. That is, when they weren't losing their minds.
"You Are Cordially Invited..." Featuring some of the wildest & weirdest wedding days in comic book history!
SuperBOY or Super-REJECT? If you think Superboy lived an idyllic childhood in Smallville, think again! As you can see from these covers, editor Mort Weisinger made Superboy into a poster child for insecurity and rejection!
I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar! The Women’s Liberation Movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s sent shockwaves through the world of superhero comics, as traditional female roles gave way to brassy firebrands with plenty to prove!
World's Laziest: The Misspent Years of Batman & Superman! Along with his young ward Robin, the Batman featured on the covers of World's Finest spent much of the 1940's living the good life with his pal Superman, a sort of Kryptonian Huckleberry Finn who reveled in the world's myriad lazy pleasures.
Frankenstein Meets...EVERYBODY! For almost two centuries, Mary Shelley's famous monster has shambled his way into countless movies, plays, radio, TV shows, and...of course...comic books!
Ghosts! The Haunted Heroes of Comics While the traditional venue for comic book ghost stories has been the horror comics genre, a fair number of ghost stories and ghostly characters have haunted the superhero genre as well, primarily those published by DC Comics.
Hauntingly Familiar Marvel Monsters! Many names of Marvel's most popular characters have a secret history prior to the publication of Fantastic Four #1 (1961), when Marvel was known as Atlas Comics.
Sinister Superhero Transformations! The monstrous side of comic book superheroes!
Stars & Stripes (and Capes) Forever! Beyond more traditional patriotic comic book covers is an utterly surreal category of All-American covers that have to be seen to be believed!
"Grandma, What a Big Head You Have!" Of all the freakish distortions of the human body depicted on the covers of superhero comics, none of them quite compared to the spectacle of Big Head Covers!
"Does This Make Me Look Fat?" Superheroes face the dire threat of...sudden morbid obesity?!!
Unmasked: The fine art of blowing a secret identity.
"I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up!" As children, the gripes and groans of aging parents and grandparents suggested that getting old was no picnic, yet it was the spectacle of Senior Citizen Superheroes that really drove home the fact that getting old stinks!
Have Yourself a Superhero Christmas... Superheroes gather to celebrate Christmas (or its generic equivalent “the holidays”) in their own inimitable style.
Here Comes Santa Claus! Santa's mythic stature easily outranks the relative “rookie” folklore status of the superhero. But despite his towering legend, Santa's appearances with superheroes have always felt natural, as if he lived only a few blocks away in the public’s collective imagination.
The Mythadventures of Superman! Ancient strongmen of Scripture and myth meet the Man of Steel!
Tales from the Kiddie Table: The adventures of adult superheroes when they were children, or, in some cases, de-aged from adults into teenagers…or even toddlers!
Superheroes in the Slammer! Normally dedicated to truth, justice and the American Way (I don't edit that last part out), superheroes behind bars were an especially alarming, incongruous spectacle.
Unfrozen Caveman Superhero: Superheroes meet club-wielding cavemen!
Love is in the Air! The happiness and heartache of superhero romance!
Way-Out West! Instead of the traditional Old West threats of bullies, crooks, varmints, owlhoots and polecats, comic book cowboys of the 1960's faced an almost endless parade of Space Age menaces!
Bring on the (Really Bad) Bad Guys! A four-part collection of comicdom's sorriest supervillains!
The Wide World of Sports (Covers) Examining the surreal intersection of sports and superheroes.
"To the Bat-Garage, Robin!" The lesser-known vehicles of Batman!
Déjà vu All Over Again: Amazing Fantasy #15 A gallery of homage covers celebrating the 1962 debut of Spider-Man!
Webhead's Wild Kingdom: The best rogues’ galleries can be defined along simple criteria, such as Batman’s collection of dark lunatics, or the Flash’s gimmicky felons….but when it comes to an overarching theme, Spider-Man’s animal-themed rogues’ gallery wins the prize.
That's GOTTA Hurt! Bruises, Burns and Beat-Downs from the Pain Hall of Fame!
Extreme Makeovers! Superhero fashion disasters.
Déjà vu All Over Again: Fantastic Four #1 A gallery of homage covers celebrating the 1961 debut of The Fantastic Four!
You Say You Want a Revolution: The proud ranks of costumed superheroes that lived in, visited, or were mystically connected to the dawning years of The United States of America!
"YEEEEEEE-HAWWWWW!" The astounding number of missile-riding superheroes!
To All the Girls I've Loved Before: It’s often said, “In springtime, a young man’s thoughts turn to love”. Well, after reviewing the covers of DC’s Adventures of Bob Hope series, one could say an old man’s thoughts could turn to love not only in the spring, but the other three seasons as well!
The Dog Days of Summer: The crime-fighting canines of comics!
Welcome to the Jungle: Superheroes catch jungle fever!
Little Women: The itsy-bitsy, teeny-weenie Wonder Woman covers.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Comics' deadliest deathtraps!
Whistling Past the Graveyard: Counter to their gloomy reputation, cemeteries here in the real world are usually well-maintained havens of peaceful contemplation. Not so in the world of superhero comics, where cemeteries are routinely the sites for supervillain attacks, impromptu resurrections, and guilt-riven superheroes shouting anguished vows to the heavens.
Encounters With The Count: Superheroes vs. Dracula, the Lord of Vampires!
Celebrity Parade! Real-world celebrities meet star-struck superheroes!
Audience Appeal: Superheroes break the fourth wall and cajole, heckle, and plead with their readers!
Sidekicks Roasting on an Open Fire: The terrifying torture-technology of Golden Age Timely Comics!
Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Exceedingly bizarre superhero transformations!
Little Dick Grayson Sat in a Corner: During the late 1950's and early 60's, Batman's sidekick Robin could be found lurking in the lower corners of of Batman, Detective Comics, and World's Finest covers.
Dude Looks Like a Lady: Female knockoffs of male superheroes.
Attack of the Taxman! Superheroes battle the U.S. tax code...and the April 15th filing deadline!
Déjà vu All Over Again: Flash #123 A gallery of homage covers celebrating the classic "Flash of Two Worlds" cover.
Déjà vu All Over Again: Action Comics #1 A gallery of homage covers celebrating the 1938 debut of Superman!
Déjà vu All Over Again: Superman #1 A gallery of homage covers celebrating the 1939 debut of Superman's solo title.
Reign of the Superman: The multiple monarchies of the Man of Steel!
When Kink Was King: The kinky covers of the 1970's!
Seeing Double: Boasting a mindblowing sixteen covers from across the decades, Wonder Woman (for reasons not entirely clear) met more multiple versions of herself than any other superhero in comic book history.
Give Me Liberty: A gallery of comic book covers co-starring the Statue of Liberty!