Well… it’s been a long (and time-consuming) road, but we’ve finally made it to my Final Four of cover artists. Today, it’s Mac Raboy, an artist who was able to draw people that seemed human, almost fragile at times, but ones that were nevertheless BURSTING with power. Raboy’s covers were rarely overly complex, but what they did was radiate drama and strength, and it’s for that reason that he towers among my giants of cover artists.
Whether tossing it aside, or crushing the shit out of it… Mac Raboy’s heroes had an intense dislike for the swastika.
All I want for Christmas is this original Mac Raboy cover.
If you’re uncomfortable clinging to the Green Lama’s back while shooting down Nazi warplanes, then perhaps you would enjoy a ride in Captain Marvel Jr’s flying motorcycle.
The cover and original art from the epic story that introduced Captain Marvel Jr. to the world. I believe this is his first cover appearance. Oh wait… I’m on a computer. I can check. Hold on a second. And… yes. Yes it is. (although I looked it up in an Overstreet Price Guide instead of on the computer)
Let’s get in a quick gallery.
I have sort of a major crush on Mac Raboy’s Bulletgirl. I mean, I know she’s not REAL or anything, but if some statuesque brunette were to cosplay her, there might be some free comics involved.
Raboy left the field of comics relatively early in his career and went on to work on the Flash Gordon comic strip, a strip that he drew for over twenty years, until his death in 1967. Below are a couple of examples of his Flash Gordon Sundays.
Two more of Raboy’s classic war covers.
And now, bidding an extremely fond farewell to Raboy, here’s some more view of Raboy heroes kicking butt in World War II.
Parts you’ve probably read in earlier posts:
You might not see your favorite artist during this countdown. That’s okay. Don’t get mad. Some of MY favorite artists aren’t here. Hugo Pratt, Bernie Krigstein, Mike Wieringo… these guys (and others) are fantastic artists, but their covers just don’t strike me. Some people need sequential panels in order to have their art sing… and that’s okay. Furthermore, this list is subjective to my moods of the moment, so if you disagree with me, then rest assured that I probably disagree with me, too. That said, I welcome any and all comments as this list progresses over time.
THE FINE PRINT: (Why I’m doing this)
Recently, on a trip to a comic store, I was DISGUSTED by the overall lack of design on covers. Most covers were nothing more than two or three characters punching each other and snarling, the exact kind of design that I would have worked out when I was eight years old, and spat on by the time I was ten. So, why do such covers proliferate the shelves? One reason is for trade dressing… so that any cover can be put upon almost any trade compilation, which is one of the reasons behind the other Far Too Common cover design… that of the character or team standing at attention, looking tough, staring at the viewer. Fuck that. I’m lucky enough to work largely with editor Nate Cosby, who does very good work at hiring talented cover artists and creating covers that don’t piss me off, but in consideration of my other less lucky friends, and the industry as a whole, I’m going to spend the next few weeks counting down my own personal Top 40 Comic Book Cover Artists… the ones who got it right.