Classic Comic Cover Corner – Strange Adventures #32

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Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling pop culture commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Strange Adventures #32 – May, 1953

Cover art by Murphy Anderson

Strange Adventures #32 – May, 1953
Strange Adventures #32 – May, 1953

As you can see, we’ve had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Anderson.” I like to think this Matrix line is what legendary comic illustrator, Murphy Anderson, heard as he entered the pearly gates last week (October 22, 2015.) Surely Heaven holds a special place for creators who have brought as much imaginative happiness to the world as this esteemed artisan did.

During his fifty-plus-year career as a comic book inker, colorist and penciller, Anderson worked on everything from the Atom to Zatanna, including highlights like inking the first appearance of the Justice League of America (in Brave and the Bold #28 – 1960) and co-creating Zatanna (in Hawkman #4 – 1964.)

Ms. Magazine #1 - 1972In 1972, Anderson was also responsible for providing the art for one of the world’s most famous non-comic-book covers, the very first edition of Gloria Steinem’s feminist magazine, Ms., which featured a giant Wonder Woman and the headline, “Wonder Woman for President.”

Personally, I will always remember Murphy Anderson as the amazing artisan behind two of my all-time favorite comic covers, Hawkman #6 (1965) and Hawkman #16 (1966), featuring the flying gorillas known as the “Wingors.” [Read about them in our Classic Comic Cover Corner archives – HERE!]

Because I so love Anderson’s apes, this week I’m showcasing another one of his best: Strange Adventures #32 (1953), which has Captain Comet changing brains with an unwitting gorilla (a scene that, I think, has to be the inspiration for the gorilla plotline in Steve Martin’s hilarious 1983 film, “The Man with Two Brains.”)

I’m also particularly fond of Murphy Anderson’s work on the John Carter of Mars stories in DC’s Edgar Rice Burroughs-centric Weird Worlds series from 1972-73. The artist was a self-proclaimed lifelong Burroughs fan and his excitement at being involved with this project is visible on each of his panels. [You can see for yourself on scanned pages over at]

RIP, Mr. Anderson, and thank you for all the fun and fantastic memories.

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Bob Leeper
Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.