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Cover Stories by Jon B. Knutson
Jon Knutson presents comic book covers with a common theme
and relates any information and comments about them.

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COVER STORIES for 12/17/2006

All right, faithful readers (and also those of you reading this column for the first time), welcome to another edition of "Cover Stories!"

This week's theme is one that's near and dear to my heart... "Mass Media!" Why is that? Probably because I work for a newspaper, and after the first cover in this week's column, you'll see quite a few newspapers on these covers!

Action 155

It's kind of ironic that this first cover, Action Comics 155, doesn't feature a newspaper on it (given that Superman's alter ego is, of course, a mild-mannered reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper), but instead, there's three magazine covers!

Must be magazine covers published in Gotham City, since they appear to be giant-sized props (like all the giant props in those Bill Finger Batman stories, right?). Then again, since the gun being fired and the hand doing the shooting are giant-sized, I suppose we have to call this a symbolic cover, don't we?

This cover was by Win Mortimer. Inside, Superman stars in "The Cover Girl Mystery" with art by Al Plastino, there's a Peg filler by Henry Boltinoff, then Tommy Tomorrow in "The Two Tommy Tomorrows" by Curt Swan with inks by John Fischetti (gee, do you think there's a scene where someone has to decide which is the real Tommy so they can shoot the other one, who's evil?). Next up is a Casey the Cop filler by Boltinoff, then Congo Bill in "Sands of Death" by Ed Smalle, a Shorty filler by Boltinoff, there's a Captain Tootsie ad by Bill Schreiber, the Vigilante in "The Gun That Killed the Vigilante" by Bob Brown, and a Superman PSA called "Human Rights for All" by Jack Schiff and Win Mortimer!

Sadly, none of these stories seems to have been reprinted (sadder perhaps, at least for me, is that I can't afford a copy of the original comic to read and tell you about the stories).


All Flash 28

I really dig this cover, from All-Flash 28, showing Jay Garrick smacking a bad guy while the newspaper press behind him prints the story of this capture! This cover was by Martin Naydel.

Inside, the Flash stars in "That's Right, You're Wrong" by Robert Kanigher, Joe Kubert, and Martin Naydel, a "Ton O' Fun" filler by Harry Lampert, a letters page called "Out of the Gag Bag," Flash in "the Disappearing Diamonds" by Kanigher and Naydel, a Rockhead McWizzard story by Jack Farr, the text story "Fast Fright" by Jim Robinson, "The Comeback Trail" by Gardner Fox, Martin Naydel and Carmine Infantino (which also featured Winky, Blinky and Noddy, DC's version of the Three Stooges).

Wow, this is just an all DC Golden Age column so far, isn't it? Well, so is the next one... Detective Comics 193!

Detective 193

Here's a twist... The Joker's Journal, a newspaper published by the Clown Prince of Crime! No, I have no clue why the Joker decided to start a newspaper (at least, there couldn't be any financial reason for him to do so... it must have been to soothe his own bruised ego... yeah, that's the ticket). This cover was by Win Mortimer.

Inside, "The Joker's Journal" is by David Vern Reed, Bob Kane, Lew Sayre Schwartz and Charles Paris, and was reprinted in the Signet paperback volume "Batman Vs. The Joker." This was followed by a Casey the Cop filler by Boltinoff, "Roy Raymond's Rival" with art by Ruben Moreira, a Varsity Vic filler by Boltinoff, a Binky PSA, "Good Neighbor Spirit" by Jack Schiff and Mortimer, Robotman in "The Super Magnet" with art by Joe Certa, the text story "Caging the Counterfeiters," and Pow-Wow Smith, Indian Lawman in "The Double Life of Pow-Wow Smith" by Leonard Starr.

Hey, check it out! It's a cover that's not a DC one to round out this week's column!

Space Adventures 13

This is (I believe) the first Charlton Comics appearance of the original Blue Beetle in Space Adventures 13. I should also note that I don't believe this is the Dan Garrett version that got his powers from a mystic scarab and the magic words "Kaji-Da!" - instead, I believe it's the Dan Garrett, beat cop who takes a special super-vitamin to get his powers... but I could be wrong.

This cover is by Al Fago, who was one of Charlton's mainstays.

Inside... this book is all reprints from the Fox Blue Beetle comic (if I'm reading the Grand Comics Database entry correctly), except for the splash page of the first story, "Murder in the Ring," which was done by Dick Giordano (the rest of that story was from Blue Beetle 59), which is followed by "The Thing in Outer Space" by Joe Shuster and Vince Alascia, "From Planet Rathe to Planet Earth," a text story, "The Beauty Parlor Murders" featuring Joan Mason, Reporter (reprinted from a non-specified issue of Fox's Blue Beetle comic), Minut Mystery, and "Heritage" by Seymour Moskowitz.

And aside from that, I haven't a clue as to what the stories are about! But still, it's a pretty neat cover featuring our hero bursting out from the newspaper page (appropriate, since there was a Blue Beetle newspaper strip for a time).

Join me next time for another installment of "Cover Stories" -- and in the meantime, you can check out my blog at for other musings and ramblings by me, or email me with comments about this column at !

Jon B. Knutson

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