Here we go again, a return to the quest to decide the Best Cover EVER?. This weekend sees the return of Paul Rainey, last seen round these parts with his November Best Cover EVER? entry. But he fancied choosing another, a connected cover, and why the heck not.
After all, there is no such thing as best cover EVER, and that’s part of the fun!
Paul Rainey is the artist behind the brilliantly complicated sci-fi soap opera There’s No Time Like The Present (being released by Escape Books in 2013) and also Thunder Brother: Soap Division, currently being serialised at his website and released in comic form with each completed chapter.
So over to Paul, and another interesting choice, another Paul Neary cover as well…
Daredevils Issue 4 – art by Paul Neary, Marvel UK, April 1983.
The Daredevils was a monthly and therefore was graced with a glossy cover which meant that Neary’s colourist (whoever that was. It might even have been Neary himself for all I know) could do a bit of graduating. At the time, the lead strip was Captain Britain drawn by Alan Davis.
One of the reasons that I like this cover is that it seems so wrong that Neary is drawing it and not Davis himself. (I wonder if Neary drew it because, by this time, he may have been Dez Skinn’s editorial replacement and was now knocking out covers for fun).
Of course, the real wrongness about this cover is that the colouring is incorrect. The cross on CB’s chest is coloured blue here and not red as it should be. Somebody reading my words familiar with the production processes on magazines during the early eighties will probably have an accurate but, ultimately, dreary explanation for how this might have happened but I am still going to express puzzlement and bemusement just the same. Did Neary, if he was the colourist, forget the colour scheme of CB due to being overworked as Editor-In-Chief at the time? Was the colourist, presuming he (or she) was somebody else, not get provided with a colour guide and, because he (or she) are shy, not ask for one? Maybe he (or she) did ask for a guide but received no response and so had to wing it. If this were the case, surely the character’s name, Captain Britain, plastered all over the cover, must have provided some clue.
Whatever the explanation, I like the thought that this type of production indifference may have provided some of the grit that resulted in those great comic strip pearls that were commonplace at this time.
And I can only echo Paul’s wonder at the cover, as I can still recall the time a 12-year old me got the comic and was incredulous that they’d got the colours of my beloved Captain Britain wrong! Shocking!