Monday, November 26, 2007
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.
Labels: Alex Toth, Twilight Zone
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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.
I'm pretty sure the Rod Serling portrait was a paste-up, done by another artist. Rich Little...ha! I like that.
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