Thursday, June 14, 2012


TALES OF SUSPENSE is another of the titles that I've been slowly collecting over the past few years. A few months ago I purchased a large collection of pre-hero Marvels and was able to upgrade a number of lower condition books in my own collection.

One of these was TALES OF SUSPENSE #27. The cover feature on this issue was a creature called "OOG"! I have always heard that Kirby would do these stories pretty much alone, and that when he turned them over to his editor (Stan Lee) to be lettered and have the dialog altered, that Lee was the one who would always name the monsters. I feel this has to be the case, because we all know what a thing Lee had for silly names and alliteration.

Oog is definitely something that Stan Lee would have come up with for cover art. I suppose he knew what he was doing, because covers were certainly grabbing the attention of the kids and misfits who were buying the comics his uncle's outfit was selling.

But this critter is classic Kirby. Big and blocky, this one is a variation on the King's ape-creature design. Some of this may be attributable to the phenomenon that was first noticed by Julius Schwartz over at DC Comics--gorillas on covers meant inflated sales figures. True story. Every artist at DC wanted a shot at doing a gorilla cover when it was discovered that any time they put one of the big apes on a cover the sales for that magazine went up precipitously. Maybe Kirby got wind of that story, since he had been working at DC during that period.

At any rate, here are a couple of graphics from TALES OF SUSPENSE #29.

Cover art for Tales of Suspense #27. Kirby doing the Kirby thing.

The splash page for the story is classic Kirby action. Man, he was good at this kind of thing! How could any kid opening the book resist shelling out his twelve cents for this comic book?

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