white pgs; Church/Mile High copy
the holy grail of classic golden age covers! A Lou Fine masterpiece (2/40)
Jon Berk Collection
Highest GradedWell. So here it is. The single most coveted, most revered, most gloriously insane and delightfully over-the-top cover of the Golden Age by one of the finest artists ever to grace the medium. There's barely any point in discussing or writing about this splendid beast, but I guess we'll have to try, otherwise this listing will have to be filled up with recipes and emojis. So, where do we even begin? Maybe what's worth discussing is how immaculately this extraordinary image captures everything about the twilight, otherworldly realm of early 20th century pop fiction, how it manages to perfectly meld Burroughsian adventure, pulp science fiction, monster horror, boys' own action, and epic imagination into one astoundingly illustrated piece.
The intricate lines laid down by Lou Fine, indisputably the first truly great cover artist of the comics, provide supple weight and graceful movement to what could otherwise be a crude and garish image, giving the robots a fierce metal menace reminiscent of Willis O'Brien's majestic King Kong, and the immense motion of Samson at center rivals the heft of Hal Foster's Tarzan, all taking place in a backdrop that practically screams of detailed model-work by an unusually talented boy. This image burned its way into the brains of all the young readers who first saw it, and has branded itself on the hearts of comic collectors young and old for nearly a century. This issue may not be a key, a first appearance, or the inspiration for a big blockbuster movie, but for truly discerning collectors, there is nothing else. This is the Big One, the Grail, the Monster. It never fails to delight and inspire, and has yet to be rivaled.
This is the highest-graded copy of this immortal classic from the Church/Mile High collection. It is awesome. It is the ultimate. You want this. Boy howdy is this going to be a big one.
Overstreet Guide 2016 NM- (9.2) value = $28,000.
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Louis Kenneth Fine was born in New York. He studied at the Grand Central Art School and Pratt Institute. He was partially crippled by childhood polio and longed to be an illustrator. Among his major influences were Dean Cornwell, J.C. Leyendecker, and Heinrich Kley. Fine joined the Eisner-Iger comic shop in 1938 and soon was drawing for the Fiction House and Fox lines on such features as 'Wilton of the West', 'The Count of Monte Cristo', and 'The Flame'. Within a short time he became one of their best artists. He drew parts of the 'Jumbo' and 'Sheena' comics, and he also produced several adventure comics. Between 1939 and 1943, he worked for the Arnold's Quality Comics group. He produced 'Black Condor', 'Stormy Foster' and several issues of 'Uncle Sam'. From early on, Fine's specialty was covers, and he turned out dozens of them.
Lou Fine left the comic book industry in 1944 and moved into drawing Sunday advertising strips for the funnies. On his advertising work, he cooperated extensively with Don Komisarow. Together, they created characters like 'Charlie McCarthy' and 'Mr. Coffee Nerves' for Chase and Sanborn Coffee, and 'Sam Spade' for Wildroot Cream Oil. They also made 'The Thropp Family' for Liberty magazine, using the combined signature of Donlou (scripts by Lawrence Lariar). Next, Fine drew two newspaper strips, 'Adam Ames', and 'Peter Scratch', about a tough private eye who lived with his mother. Fine died in 1971 and according to Will Eisner, he was one of the greatest draftsmen ever.