Friday, March 14, 2014

The Grooviest Covers of All Time: Mike Kaluta's Time Warp

It only lasted for five Dollar Comic-sized issues (July 1979-March 1980), but Time Warp was our one bastion of straight-up sci-fi from DC Comics as we neared the end of the Groovy Age. A ton of short-sci fi shockers from a variety of writers and artists was no hard sell for Teen Groove, and those Mike Kaluta covers pushed the mag from my "must buy" list to my "gotta have it" list! Would you pay a dollar for these*?




14 comments:

  1. I didn't get every issue, but I remember these well - those beautiful covers were real attention-grabbers on the spinner rack. Too bad Kaluta, as far as I recall, never did any of the interior art as well.

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    1. He didn't, Edo, you're right. They had tons of great artists on the insides, though. I loved how they alternately listed authors and illustrators on the cover above the logo. Gave the mag a classy look.

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  2. For some reason I love the logo on this comic.
    Easily top five favourite.

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    1. Todd Klein at his best! http://www.kleinletters.com/1979Logos.html

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  3. For me, Kaluta was the defining voice of the Groovy Age.....

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  4. Even though the Groovy Age was my time,I missed the boat on TIME WARP. Any chance of posting the insides of these babies,oh Groovy One? Imagine the gratitude of your subjects!

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    1. There are a few listed in the Stream of Consciousness in the sidebar; and never fear, there are more to come!

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  5. "Would you pay a dollar for these?"

    I would and did—as an 8 yr off the spinner rack at my neighborhood 7-11 and recently re-bought a clean set to augment those well cherished ones. I distinctly remember that first one was purchased along with a small cherry Slurpee and Hershey's Big Block candy bar. Ah nostalgia!

    Gary, I was looking at how great that logo is too. You can create that similar effect today using a filter in illustrator or photoshop but it never looks quite right without of fair amount of manual adjusting. Back then, that logo was entirely hand drawn and inked. The letterforms, spacing and "warp" effect all look spot on. I'm pretty sure was the work of the great Todd Klein.

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    1. Todd Klein it is! And thanx for sharing your "the day I bought it" memory! I love those!

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    2. That was my experience too, except that there wasn't enough money left for the Hershey's (hey, it was a Dollar Comic). I read these over and over and over. This series would merit a color paperback reprint.

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  6. A sumptuous art book could be put together from Kaluta's late 70s DC covers alone. Virtually every mystery title was fronted by Kaluta at one time or another and it's a peak period for him.

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  7. This would also be just after The Studio (Wrightson, Jones, Windsor-Smith, and Kaluta) had split up. A shame the other three had pretty much left comics at that point. It would seem that covers would still be viable for them at that point, too. Berni Wrightson was busy with the Frankenstein illustrations and doing the odd illustration or short story for National Lampoon (which was more lucrative than DC Comics). He also had a poster series with Christopher Enterprises at that time, and A LOOK BOOK had just come out in hardcover in 1979.Jeff Jones was painting for patrons, and Barry Windsor-Smith was likewise trying his hand at selling prints of his work via his own Gorblimey Press and had joined another artists' conglomerate, the New Romantic Brotherhood, which didn't last as long as the studio, nor did it have the same impact upon the Fantasy Illustration marketplace. Yes, Kaluta seemed to have a renaissance of sorts as a cover artist for DC's sci-fi and mystery mags in the late '70s - early '80s (just as he did in the early '70s along with Wrightson et al). His drawings were handsome, but I wasn't too excited about the coloring (not his fault) or the plastic plates (instead of metal plates which ensured more fidelity to the art in printed form).

    Chris A.

    Chris A.

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  8. I bought the first one because Dollar Comics were the only comics my local drugstore carried. Otherwise I had to wait to visit my grandma 500 miles away in order to stock up on comics.

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  9. Had all of these, and i remember when it was canceled, DC came out with a short lived revival of Mystery in Space. the tales i remember most are those drawn by Ditko, for some reason.

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