Monday, October 24, 2005

Comic Book Covers: Firehair vs Tiger Girl

Here are two comic book covers reimagined by the same publisher and artist. Not an homage, just lazy work.

Pioneer West Romances featuring Firehair
Fiction House, 1950
Cover Credits: Maurice Whitman (Pencils & Inks)

Fight Comics featuring Tiger Girl
Fiction House, January 1952
Cover Credits: Maurice Whitman (Pencils & Inks)

Even though the artist recycled his work, here is what makes the Fight cover better than the Firehair cover:
  • Monkey.
  • Covered wagons in Africa.
  • Natives riding zebras!
  • Looks like a vacationing Firehair is a captive of the marauders.
I have a feeling that Fiction House or Whitman may have duplicated the layout of this cover more than just these two examples. I must do research.

Tip of the hat to the great work done at the Grand Comic Database, who fill in the gaps in my collection and are a fantastic source.


  1. I like the Firehair cover for the sheer absurdity of having her have the bow holding arm around the tree trunk. Is it even possible to shoot a bow like that? Not that Tiger Girl is in a much better situation. She can't even see the person she is aiming at, and she certainly couldn't shoot him from there as the tree is in the way.

    Otherwise I wouldn't say it's all that lazy. Although the composition is very similar it's not as if it's a complete xerox. The main figure may be leaning on a tree but there are major differances in the pose and other elements of the picture have changed. Go look at the works of any fine artist and you will see them tackle the same composition over and over with slight variations.

    Then compare to say, some of the "homage" covers you see these days that are just lazy copies of old covers that have nothing original to say.

  2. The most obvious rip off 'homage' cover I've ever seen is from Troublemakers.

    As for Whitman I'm not able to overlook the similarities and I have to disagree with the 'subtle differences' you point out here and for the Shi cover that ripped the lingerie ad. Different hair color and plants does not a subtle difference make. This is the same artist doing a variation on his previous work. That doesn't say 'unique' to me, that says 'lazy'. He could have been more original, considering the extent of his portfolio and the typical cover disconnect of the era. If you check out his covers on the GCD you'll see he has a lot of original creativity. The Jungle Girl and Fight covers are great to compare with each other. The juxtaposition of strong woman vs victim are interesting.

    Oddly, quite a few of his covers resemble later art layouts by Frazetta, Boris, Kubert et al. I would hesitate to say that those three copied him...after all, there are only so many poses you can put a guy knife-fighting a gorilla into and be original.


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