It’s finally here… the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the next epic event in the ongoing 365 Reasons to Love Comics saga… a month-long odyssey into everyone’s favorite aspect of comics culture…
That’s right. This year, April is Ape-ril on Comics Should Be Good!
93. Gorilla covers
In honor of our month-long look at apes in comics, let’s investigate how the trend got started, and showcase the majesty of the gorilla cover. The issue of Strange Adventures you see above, #8, is the one that started it all. Legend has it that sales took a bizarre upswing with this issue, and editors figured it must have had something to do with the gorilla-centric cover. Hence, gorillas began to spring up all over DC publications, and Irwin Donenfeld reportedly had to limit the company to one ape cover per month.
This spawned a wonderful, ridiculously awesome trend that has provided fans, readers, and blogger with endless entertainment. There are so many great gorilla covers, I just didn’t know which ones to present. So, following are some of my personal favorite gorilla covers which we have not yet seen in this column. I already told you about the Jimmy Olsen one I love so dearly, and you’ve surely all cowered at the might of the octi-ape.
As a gigantic nerd, I’m no fan of sports. But if this kind of thing actually happened in the world of baseball, I’d probably be watching it on ESPN.
Another weird belief in the Silver Age was that covers featuring the color purple (no, not that The Color Purple) sold like hotcakes as well. Naturally, purple gorillas must be sales bonanzas. So much so that King Colosso appeared on three different Tomahawk covers.
“Would you dare defy… the Primate Platoon???” Hell no, you wouldn’t! Nazis gorillas. Nazi gorillas. Whoever came up with this was a genius.
Strange Adventures had a lot of gorilla covers, but this one may be the best. In fact, it may be the perfect comic book cover. Talking gorilla? Check. Purple? Check. Go-go-checks? Go-go-check! Those twelve cents would’ve flown out of my hands. This one’s so good, in fact, that the Gorilla Witch became a bit of a mascot for Dial B for Blog. Follow the link to read the cover story in its entirety.
Joe Kubert drawing a gorilla firing an automatic weapon. That, my friends, is a little glimpse of heaven.
Dear readers, I’ve given you but a snippet of the wonderful madness that lies in the realm of gorilla comics, but fear not! More is forthcoming. Also, I have links. For more on the gorilla comics craze, check out The Gorilla Age of Comics. For a showcase of DC Ape covers, especially superhero-related ones, check out Dial B for Blog. For cool ape-related bits of comics covers and panels, with added snark, hit up Superdickery‘s “Monkey” section.
But, for the coolest link of all, visit the Gorilla Cover Gallery, a gigantic assemblage of hundreds of brilliant gorilla covers. There’s so much awesome contained within that website, your brain may explode from joy.
If you survive that, meet me back on this site tomorrow for further gorillamania!