Thursday, April 21, 2005

Cover Credits Are Cool!!

One of the things we have in modern comics that we may take for granted, but it was a long time coming, is credits on the cover of the comic for the people working on the book.

For the longest time, comics pretty much pretended that they didn't HAVE creators, except for guys like Bob Kane.

This changed in the 60s, with the Marvel explosion, and then, creators began to be credited more and more, until the point where it would be extremely rare to see a book without a creator listed, DC or Marvel.

However, the names still were left off the cover.

The comic that changed that, I believe, was DC's New Teen Titans (talk about cool comic coincidence, I was just talking about them yesterday!), and specifically, the acclaimed "Who Is Donna Troy?" story from New Teen Titans #38.

The story was so gripping (and the creative team for the title was so acclaimed), that they gave Wolfman and Perez a creator credit on the cover.

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This was then followed by the Baxter series launches of Legion of Super Heroes and New Teen Titans, both of which gave cover creator credits to their acclaimed creative team.

After that, they would occur on a few DC books, until John Byrne and Marv Wolfman relaunched the Superman titles and a bunch of other DC titles were relaunched (Justice League, Flash, Wonder Woman, et al). Then the cover creator credits began appearing on every DC title.

This practice continues to this day.

Marvel, however, was slower to catch on...which is odd, considering how much more creator-driven Marvel has been over the years (and especially the time period being covered here, late 80s to early 90s).

However, eight years after DC first started doing it (not counting prestige format series, like Daredevil: Man Without Fear), Marvel finally gave cover creator credits during the Crossing crossover between the Avengers titles.

Then, two years later, Marvel launched their "World's Greatest Comics" promotion, which included gatefold interior covers to give the readers recaps (at the cost of NO story pages!) and also creator credits on the cover.

This is the standard today.

Which is good, because cover creator credits are cool!!


Blogger John Lombard said...

But, Brian, if there aren't any cover credits, you don't build up a stable of demanding celebrity creators who want more money and healthcare. :-)

4/22/2005 7:12 AM  
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