Friday, February 28, 2020

Up Close And Personal!

Over the years of working on the PPC, I've come to recognize the advantages of indulging one's creative process by use of the personal computer--a handy and, at times, daunting piece of equipment that I cut my teeth on as it entered the working world around the mid-1980s. For the blogger, or the tweeter, or whatever digital world you contribute to, working on a computer is like having a file cabinet at your fingertips, in that it makes organizing your work (past, present, and future) a snap, while putting tools at your disposal for creating and presenting the ideas that spring from your mind, software which accommodates your vision as well as your schedule.

I say all of that by way of introduction to the assembled content of today's merry post. At times, I'll start a folder of material for a blog post just on the basis of no more than a glimmer of an idea occurring to me but not really having taken root yet--choosing instead to let it percolate in increments over the weeks and even months that follow, and then somewhere down the road remembering to glance at what I've accumulated in that folder and see if there's something usable. That's happened a handful of times before (see this earlier post, for example), and today's subject falls along those lines.

Perhaps this cover will give you an idea of where I'm heading with this:

Now you could infer that this post will be about suggestive poses of Marvel's female characters, which I'm not ruling out some day but which I'd be surprised isn't ground that's already been covered in some forum somewhere (this is the Internet, after all); or the PPC could be tackling the subject of sleazy characters in comics, which would certainly suit the "time capsule" approach I mentioned since we're probably talking about a lot of characters who fit that profile. But while neither of these applies today, there is a central theme at work here--have a look at a second cover to see if it dawns on you.

*ding ding ding* Yes, you've nailed it, as always:  covers which break the fourth wall and address the reader directly (or appear to do so). It was fun assembling them for a brief Friday post that hopefully ushers in a splendid weekend for you.

We may as well begin with those covers featuring the She-Hulk, since her 1989-94 series broke the mold on smashing through the fourth wall on her covers as well as in her stories and other appearances.

A number of such covers took their cue from brazen house ads like this one:

And as we've already seen, Excalibur wasn't shy with using this approach.

With other team books on occasion following suit:

Nor was the Merc With A Mouth to be left out:

And finally, from the other Hulk in residence:


Anonymous said...

I bought numerous issues of The Savage She-Hulk first time around so I'm not responsible for the book's demise after just 25 issues! (I'm responding to the cover of Sensational She-Hulk #1).

Big Murr said...

I can't help but chime in with a possible pair of Honourable Mentions:

Daredevil #185 (1982). The cover doesn't break the fourth wall, but the first page features DD/Matt Murdock explaining to the readers that this issue will be featuring his good buddy, "Guts" Nelson.

The Mighty Thor #356 (1985). Hercules doesn't directly address the reader as he shoves Thor off the cover, but he is referring to the real world of Walt Simonson being on vacation.

Kid said...

Another possible contender is Captain America & The Falcon #197, where Cap on the cover is shouting "I've found an army of underground killers!" "--and I've got to stop them alone!" So who's he talking to unless it's the readers? That's what it looks like he's doing.

Comicsfan said...

I'm sure she didn't mean to single you out, Colin--anyway, it looks like her threat panned out since SSH went up to a respectable sixty issues this time around. (Though obviously the title character is still less than pleased.)

Murray, I'm afraid we have to disqualify the DD issue, since it's the splash page you're referring to--and while I thought the Thor cover was clever (and not a bad issue), I had to stick to the theme of the post. :( But, Kid, since Banshee is doing something similar on that X-Men cover, I think you raise a good point regarding Cap--nice job!

Anonymous said...

Ah, good 'ol Dollar Bill. It was only a matter of time before he broke the fourth wall.
Billy boy, we hardly knew ye.


RE said...

The J2 cover is, naturally, a homage to the L.E.G.I.O.N. '89 #4 cover, with Lobo and that... uh... guy.

Anonymous said...

Wonder Woman 73