Tuesday, 22 March 2016

THE "NOT GOOD ENOUGH - DO IT AGAIN!" DEPARTMENT - PART ONE...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

You're looking at the cover of FANTASTIC FOUR Annual #1
- or are you?  Yes, you are - sort of.  The above cover is the one that
JACK KIRBY initially drew for the Cosmic Quartet's first yearly
outing, but it was rejected by STAN LEE, who then had Jack whip
up the version that graced the published issue, which you can see
below.  So which one do you prefer - and why?

8 comments:

Philip Crawley said...

Yep I think Stan called it on this one and by pushing Jack to go that extra mile he came up with, in my opinion, an artwork that has much more focus and impact. Subby looked a bit clumsy balancing on that rock in version one but the second try has him looking suitably imperious and there's no doubt as to who has the upper hand in the meeting at that point. The first attempt is overcrowded and confusing, the second cuts the clutter and tells the story. The distracting tacked on strip across the bottom is a bit of a lost cause design wise so that's a no-win, though I guess if it's '72 Big pages' you have to get the idea that's there's more than just one event inside. Interesting that the also-ran cover still saw print.

Kid said...

Any pic of Spidey on the cover is bound to sell a few extra copies, PC, but it's a shame Jack could never draw him too well. It was at least 25 years, if I recall correctly, before the original version saw print on the back cover of an issue of FF Index.

Graham said...

Wow! I actually thought the one that saw print was busy (with the word boxes and the Spidey panel at the bottom) until I saw the first attempt. :) There's a lot happening on those covers, but the one that made the cut is much better.

Kid said...

Yup, G, it looks better, doesn't it? Stan usually had a pretty good eye for what did and didn't work as a cover.

paul Mcscotty said...

Yep I agree Stan got it right - Kirby's original version is pretty poor by his standards.

Kid said...

My main problem with it, McS, is that some of the figures aren't quite right, size-wise, in relation to one another. Subby almost looks to be in the foreground because of the position of the rocks he's standing on, making him appear a miniature version of himself compared to Sue and Reed. Dodgy perspective, is what I'm saying.

Colin Jones said...

The first one has such silly word bubbles..."Stay back, I want ol' fish face for myself" and "Whoever wins I lose someone I love" (Sue was so pathetic in those days). And why was Spider-Man "waiting in these pages" ? Does that mean Spidey had his own strip or was he a guest-star in the FF story ?

Kid said...

I don't think the speech balloons (to use the 'official' terminology) are any sillier than others of the time, CJ, although there were perhaps too many of them for so small a cover panel. Any kind of speech balloon seems to be regarded as juvenile nowadays, which is why comics tend not to have them anymore. Spidey appeared inside in an expanded version of his encounter with the FF (in ASM #1), this time drawn by Jack and inked by Steve.

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