Aristocrats of War #18 – When Grey-Tones Came to Town


Well, after a 1 week hiatus I am glad to be back. (aka The real job sent me traveling with my seabag.) So let’s get on with this weeks article.

Grey-tone covers in comics were first brought about by the late Jerry Grandenetti. A late-comer into comics, age-wise, Jerry used the wash technique commonly found in magazine and pulp illustrations. Granov would be a similar style, although Granov reaches his tones with graphite typically and the does his overpainting, whereas Grandenetti’s process was a grey tone painting style where he would apply color over the toned inks. The process, simple to describe but, at times, hard to spot, is sometimes confused with painted covers and vice versa.


Adi Granov Cover Art from X-men #5


Grandenetti is sometimes considered one of the top War Comics illustrators and the community has a niche of collectors that collect the grey-tone covers. Again, there are several styles and artists who present something similar, but it was Jerry who brought it into the mainstream. Several other artists took up a similar approach, like, Gil Kane and Jack Adler on Green Lantern #8 from 1961 or Ross Andru and Mike Espisito on Wonder Woman #108 from 1959. Again these aren’t a grey tone wash but present a similar style.



Moving on to Jerry Grandenetti’s grey-tone covers, in chronological order:


All-American Men of War #35


Star Spangled War Stories #45


Showcase #3


G.I. Combat #44


Our Army at War #57


Our Fighting Forces #20


Our Army at War #60


G.I. Combat #51


G.I. Combat #69

This is what I would consider the 1st Classic Gray-Tone Cover. A definitive change in his style and a beginning to some truly iconic covers.


G.I. Combat #75


G.I. Combat #76


G.I. Combat #77


G.I. Combat #79


G.I. Combat #81


G.I. Combat #82


G.I. Combat #83

Another Classic Grey-Tone


G.I. Combat #89


G.I. Combat #90


G.I. Combat #92


Our Fighting Forces #71

One of my favorite Grey-tone covers. It doesn’t get much better than this rendering of Gunner, Sarge, and Pooch.


G.I. Combat #100


G.I. Combat #101

G.I. Combat #102


Any of these would be a great start to any War Collection, just don’t buy them all! I need a few.

Until Next Time


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