Many of the early Marvel UK comic covers were pencilled, inked and then copied for colouring. This meant that the original pencil and ink work survived, often being returned to the original artist. The covers from the later issues however all seem to have been painted directly over the original art, perhaps to speed up the process slightly.
Full colour covers are always very striking to look at due to how colourful they are but there is something nice about being able to see the original pencil and ink work. Below are some examples of both black & white and full colour covers from my collection.
ORIGINAL PENCIL & INK COVERS
Original cover art for issue #11
This cover was drawn by Phil Elliott with colours by “Hel” (Helen Stone) and was Phil’s first cover commission for the title.
Original cover art for issue #14
Issue #14 saw Marvel’s RGB series shift from a fortnightly publication to a weekly one in September 1988. The cover art, drawn by Andy Lanning, depicts the four horseman of the apocalypse which are the characters featured in the “Doomsday Mask” story. The Doomsday Mask is a whopping 11 pages long and the only story printed in this issue due to it’s length.
Issue #14’s cover is another piece of art that NOW reused for their run, appearing on the front of Volume 2 issue #1 in 1990.
Original cover art for issue #17
Another early cover by Phil Elliott & David Hine.
Original cover art for issue #31
Here is a real childhood favourite of mine (Dinosaurs and Ghostbusters..) and definitely one of my most cherished pieces of Marvel artwork. Interestingly this cover was also used by NOW comics in America (Volume #2 issue #4) but was recoloured by their artists. Pencils by Phil Elliott and inks by Cam Smith.
Unused commissioned cover art for issue #32
As most Marvel UK comic fans will know, most pieces of cover art also doubled as illustrations for one of the stories inside. This particular piece of art by Phil Elliott was originally commissioned for the cover of issue #32 & the “Ozbusters” story however it was dropped from the cover in favour of a different image drawn by Brian Williamson.
FULL COLOUR COVERS
Original cover art for the 1991 Annual
All four Marvel Real Ghostbusters Christmas Annual covers were fantastic pieces of art but for me there were two that really stood out. The 1990 annual that featured Stay Puft and this one from 1991. If I had to choose a favourite purely based on composition and colours (not nostalgia) it would hands down be this cover. It really is just about perfect, an image that has the right balance of comedy and action that the Real Ghostbusters cartoon combined so well.
Pencils by Andy Lanning with colours by John Burns.
Original cover art for issue #142
This cover was drawn by veteran Marvel UK RGB artist Anthony Williams with colours by John Burns.
Original cover art for issue #160
This cover was drawn by Stephen Baskerville, one of the more prominent cover artists from the later issues of the title. Colours again by John Burns