Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Four Cs

Odds are that in the 60s and 70s if there was a television show or semi-popular media property then Dell, Gold Key or Whitman published a comic book adaptation of it. Typically the book lasted only one issue and was probably done to fulfill some contractual licensing agreement. A few titles ran for more than one issue but mostly they were just one off publications created as additional advertising. The art was serviceable and the stories not much different from the show or movie they were derived from. A few of the titles later became notorious for their perhaps unintentionally humorous cover art.

Off-model representations of the original media were the norm, particularly among the early Star Trek comic books published under the Gold Key imprint. It was the painted cover art that made Gold Key stand out from their competitors. They were creative, gorgeous and fanciful and for the most part were far superior to the interior content. There are a few Star Trek and Twilight Zone covers that are just spectacular.

Had Diamond Bomb existed to have been licensed to Dell or Gold Key then she was probably have been revamped more than for the youth market mystery novels. Diamond would have been changed into a wealthy, generic action-adventurer aided by a team of unlikely specialists operating out of a secret base on an island somewhere. Diamond and any supporting characters brought over from her long publication history would have also been rendered terribly off-model and quickly forgotten except as a curiosity to die-hard comic book fans.

Cover and page for Diamond Bomb and her Clarity Commandos adapted from the Gold Key comic book Jet Dream and her Stunt-Girl Counterspies (1968).

If you get the chance to peruse the original Jet Dream comic then I recommend it. While the depiction of the wing of the jet plane cutting through the rioting crowd is the most unintentionally extreme image the book contains it is nonetheless wonderfully goofy. I didn't do much to change the panels I posted here. FYI, the original battle cry of the Stunt-girl Counterspies was "Jet-A-Reeen-O!" Hard to top that.


  1. You should make your own Diamond Bomb comic book! :o)

  2. If I could draw anymore I would. Since I'm a frustrated artist I write and used to make film.

  3. There's a lot you can do just recaptioning comics! Here's my own take on the Jet Dream series:


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