Saturday, March 7, 2015


Interesting to compare the variations in Bob Larkin’s striking piece of art which was initially used for the cover of Marvel’s Planet of the Apes comic book magazine (Number 7, April 1975) and the later Australian version by Newton Comics, used as the cover for their issue #9 (September 1975). While the Newton printing (on the right) is not as sharp or color-refined, it does reveal a lot more going on within the painting - the gloved ape hand and M-16 at the top, and the big outcrop of rocks behind the Statue of Liberty. The sky is also noticeably lighter. It would seem likely that when the art was originally used by Marvel, their graphic designers thought Larkin’s painting was a bit too busy, taking out the gun and rocks, and darkening the sky to make it seem a bit more foreboding and help the comic’s title stand out more boldly. When Maxwell Newton purchased the rights from Marvel to reprint the stories in Australia later that year, they probably received Larkin’s original cover art to use, and simply ran it as is, and how the artist originally intended it to be.