Monday, November 26, 2007

Number 224

The gold key

I want you to click on the picture of this cover of Twilight Zone #4 from August 1963, and tell me what's happening in this painting. Go ahead and look. I'll wait until you're finished.

Back so soon? I was practicing the Twilight Zone theme music on my kazoo. You're puzzled, but you're right, there is nothing happening on the cover. What we see is a European street scene, and the silhouette of a figure on the wet cobblestones. I don't know how many covers there were that got away with this, but while the painting is mysterious, evoking a rainy night, this is not a typical cover of a comic book, even a Gold Key comic. I don't know who the cover artist is.

The story this cover illustrates--and we know that because the story is called "The Secret Of The Key," and there's a key in the cover painting--is drawn by master comic artist Alex Toth. This is a wonderful 10-pager by Toth, with great drawing. Among his other talents, Toth was excellent at period pieces. He also liked actor Errol Flynn, whose face adorns the lead character, a thief who steals the gold key. And yes, the object is a gold key, just like the name of the comic book company.


Mr. Karswell said...

Like most of the Gold Key Comics the front cover art always blew away the actual stories, unless of course the story was illustrated by Master Toth! I will admit though that his page one illustration of Rod Serling looks more like Rich Little imitating Rod Serling.

Pappy said...

I'm pretty sure the Rod Serling portrait was a paste-up, done by another artist. Rich Little...ha! I like that.