Saturday, January 8, 2011

Strange Saturday: Craig Russell’s Alternate Cover to Dr Strange Annual #1

Stephen Donnelly on ComicArtFans has this nifty piece of art, Craig Russell’s cover to Dr. Strange Annual #1
 from 1976!

Dr Strange King-Size Annual 1 alternate cover by Craig Russell

I think this piece is great.  I certainly looked forward to this annual when it was published, having been a great fan of Russell’s Killraven.  I’m pretty sure this Annual appeared right around the time War of the Worlds ended.  Russell usually did the covers on that series, but not on this issue, which I found to be quite…strange!

Doctor Strange King-Size Annual 1 1976 cover by Dave Cockrum

Instead, Marvel went with this cover by Dave Cockrum.  It’s not a bad cover for the era.  I think I see some Romita in there, either the inking or the design.  The biggest problem with the cover is that it is a lie.  Clea is shown in a captive bubble, but she only appears on a couple of pages and makes a quick exit.

Doctor Strange Annual 1 1976 splash page by Craig Russell

I know Russell eventually did a new take on this tale in 1997’s Dr Strange – What Is It That Distrubs You, Stephen?  one shot.  I have that one, too.  It was good, but somehow it lost the charm of the original story.  Take a look at the splash page above, from the 1976 annual.  Even with the fading colors and old paper, still looks wonderful today.  Nuff Said!

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