ISSUE #76: Bloodsuckers

 

THE FOLLOWING IS SOLELY THE OPINION OF THIS AUTHOR AND NOT THAT OF CBSI OR ITS OTHER CONTRIBUTORS…

 

SKIP DOWN TO THE BOOKS IF YOU DON’T CARE (Don’t worry, I won’t be offended).

 

Hello, everyone! I hope you had a lovely week and found some fantastic gems in those boxes. Thanks for your great comments on last week’s Conan covers. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

Has anyone else but me noticed that in this hobby there are a lot of bitter people, lately? I assume, like all other things that become money-driven, people have become jealous and callous toward a hobby that has become a legitimate business for many people; they are trying to constantly get a leg up over other speculators and collectors. These are the people that get angry when YOU find a gem and THEY miss it rather than being happy for you. These are the same people that refuse to share info, but want as much from you as they can get and get upset when you don’t freely give it… The same people who want to bash very loudly when info doesn’t pan out, but stay awfully quiet when it does. As such, quite a lot of politics have arisen as a result and it is, frankly, a bunch of BS.    

If you read my articles, then the aforementioned isn’t you (which is incidentally why I love you all). Simultaneously, if you read my articles, people just I’ve described bother you as much as they bother me… so… let’s commiserate…

If you’re a person who thinks comics revolve around you, THEY DON’T. Comic politics is ridiculous and a waste of everyone’s time. Last I checked, comic politics don’t make people money and they certainly don’t make for better art or stories. Thus, nobody cares about that which you claim to do or have done for the industry. Unless you literally invented comics in some way (hint, those people are pretty much all dead), you’re just an armchair quarterback. Also, no one cares about threats to expose or undermine other people and/or portions of the hobby. Don’t be bitter, don’t be jealous and don’t try to take it out on the rest of us. You can’t ruin comics for us. All you can do is ruin them for yourself and look foolish in the process. The industry will happily continue to go on without you (and we’d actually prefer it).

So, in mock-honor of the bloodsuckers in this hobby, I present to you (in true Cover Tunes fashion), a few of my favorite bloodsucker covers that won’t break the bank. Let’s bite right down, shall we?

 

Dell Movie Classics: Dracula #212 (1962 Series)

PUBLISHED: Dell – December, 1962

ARTIST: Vic Prezio

I don’t go in for the movie tie-ins very often, but this cover can’t be denied. Some sites have this numbered as Dracula #1 because the Dell numbering “code” is very difficult to decipher. Sorry to say that this issue of Cover Tunes is a little Dracula heavy, but it is for good reason. This cover is way beyond its league as it is wasted on a virtually worthless Dell comic. That said, these can be extremely difficult to acquire in higher grades. Prepare to pay more for that. All of the proper grandeur of a Dracula image in its imposing regality are on display on this cover.  

 

Vampire Tales [Super] Annual #1 (1975)

PUBLISHED: Curtis (Marvel) – June, 1975

ARTIST: Bob Larkin

One of the best covers of all time, Vampire or not (sorry… LIVING Vampire… pardon me). Just look at the reflections in the eyes and the impending menace of this cover. All of the feeling, all of the dread, all of the ferocity all in a moment. It is a work of pure genius and worth every penny of the whopping $10 you’d have to pay to get it. It doesn’t pop up in shops all that often, but it’s easy to get on the interwebs. The mostly black cover makes it difficult in high grade, though.

 

Vampirella #16 (1969 Series)

PUBLISHED: Warren – April, 1972

ARTIST: Sanjulian (Manuel Perez Clemente)

I know, I know… Vampi isn’t “technically” a vampire, but she’s close enough for this week’s column and we have Drac on there to seal the deal. I reserved one of my all-time favorite covers for this week and I hope you like it, too. A fantastic Sanjulian that can still be had for $10 or less (unless you want it in high grade). A magnificent composition and… ahem… figural work. One of the best in the series and that’s saying a lot when one considers that there are Enric and Frazetta covers in the run.

 

Dracula #5 (1971 Series)

PUBLISHED: New English Library – 1971

ARTIST: Unknown (although, assumed to be Enric Torres Prat)

Okay, these are rare and they have a strange publication history as they were printed in Spain for distribution in the UK. I don’t normally go in for foreign covers on Cover Tunes, but in this case, there aren’t American alternatives. Thus, I have to go with these and the covers are all too beautiful to pass up. I sadly don’t have a copy of this, so I am unaware of who the creepy Vampire babe is on the cover. I assume she is supposed to be “Karen” based on the description of the stories contained in the issue. Don’t quote me on that. Either way, the cover is stupendous. Composed like a dream and lit exquisitely. Between the mist that creates the foreground and the castle that frames the background, we have a magnificent depth along with the superb focal character rendering. Wrap that up with a master painter and voila, a nearly perfect cover. As a matter of fact, every cover in this run is magnificent.  

 

Dracula Lives #8 (1973 Series)

PUBLISHED: Curtis (Marvel) – September, 1974

ARTIST: Luis Dominguez

Artists like Dominguez have gotten a little more attention lately, but still not nearly enough in my opinion. These artists (mostly of Spanish descent) almost single-handedly kept the magazine market alive through the Bronze Age. Of course, there were the spurious covers by Adams, Wrightson, Frazetta and the like, but these guys held it down and it’s obvious on this Dracula Lives #8. It has the menace of a pre-code horror book layout, but given the fully-painted touch. Of course, a headlights cover never hurts, either… especially from that angle. Ha!

 

Tomb of Dracula #2 (2004 4th Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – January, 2005

ARTIST: Bill Sienkiewicz

I bet you weren’t expecting a cover from THIS Tomb of Dracula series, were you? Well, where there’s a Sienkiewicz, there’s me waiting to write about it. This is a deep cut by Sink and most people aren’t aware of it. It has fantastic perspective and depth and the horror comes through in the mania of the composition. This is classic Sienkiewicz in all of its fury. I especially love the glow and flash of the eyes.  

 

[Anne Rice’s] The Vampire Lestat #9 (1990 Series)

PUBLISHED: Innovation – May, 1991

ARTIST: John Bolton

I hate, hate, HATE where they put the number “9” on this cover, but otherwise, it is an astounding Bolton cover. We so often see vampires depicted as young and beautiful or regal and imposing. In this cover, however, we get to see the decrepit side of vampires and I love that. A beautiful painting by an artist we don’t talk about enough.

 

I, Vampire #9 (2011 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – July, 2012

ARTIST: Andrea Sorrentino

There are a few amazing covers in this run, many by Sorrentino and a few from Frison. Check them all out. I love Sorrentino’s style and I think we’ll see a resurgence of her work, eventually (perhaps with the upcoming Immortal Hulk cover). The use of negative space is incredible, especially with the hands. This cover is more about what it doesn’t show rather than what it does show.

 

House of Mystery #299 (1951 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – December, 1981

ARTIST: Joe Kubert

I just love this cover. It doesn’t really blow the doors off of comics, but it just has the elements that make an excellent cover because, well… Kubert. It is simple and yet menacing. The layering is excellent and each line serves a purpose. At issue #290, House of Mystery really became I, Vampire. At issue #303, the title actually changes to I, Vampire starring in The House of Mystery (then altered again to The House of Mystery presents I, Vampire), but that was short-lived as the series ended at #321.

 

*****

QUICK HITS

*****

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1i (2019 Series)

PUBLISHED: Boom Studios – January, 2019

ARTIST: Miguel Mercado

This was one of my favorite covers from the last year and it did nothin’ on the aftermarket. Oh well, still gorgeous. It was not incentivized as it functioned more like a “B” cover along with the other “Choose Your Side” variant (the slayer version). Most stores got plenty of the multiple covers for this issue, including this one. I love the crop and the mostly-virgin nature of it. It’s playful and creepy. I love the combo. In the quick hits since it’s a hyper-modern.

 

Dark Shadows #14 (1969 Series)

PUBLISHED: Gold Key – June, 1972

ARTIST: George Wilson

Photo covers from the 1966 T.V. show up until #8 and after that, a lot of not-so-awesome painted covers. A few do stand out, though, and this is one of them. A great George Wilson cover whom I’ve featured many times before because I feel he’s severely underappreciated (if not for his talent then at least based on his volume, alone). Barnabas Collins may be seeing the light of a new CW television show, soon. We shall see.

 

*****

 

NOTE: Dungeons & Dragons: Shadows of the Vampire (2016 – IDW) have a really awesome set of 1:10 incentives that are amazing, but I don’t feature incentive variants in this article. Do yourselves the favor of checking those out, too. If you played out of the Ravenloft campaign setting when you were younger, you may really love these.

NOTE #2: Many of Marvel’s little run of vampire variants (although also incentivized) can still be had on the cheap. Some of those are amazing, also. I like the Daredevil, personally. While many are cheap, a few of them are very pricey (like the X-23, for instance).

NOTE #3: Before you say anything about me omitting V-Wars, the covers just aren’t good. All worth skipping, in my opinion (yep, even #1). Oh, and all of the decent Underworld covers are photo covers. So, no luck there, either.

 

*****

 

Phew! That was a lot, this week. I hope there was something in there for everyone. I REALLY tried to vary it up. Anyhow, it’s October, so I plan on doing a Halloween themed piece each week for the next 4 weeks. I probably could have done 100 vampire covers in this one, but I hope you liked my choices. Feel free to sound off in the comments section and let me know your thoughts. Until next week, be well, thanks for reading and happy hunting.

 

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