I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got eight new comics:

  • Rachel Rising – 18
  • East of West – 4
  • Ghosted – 1
  • Savage Dragon – 189
  • Storm Dogs – 6
  • The Walking Dead – 112
  • X-O Monowar – 15
  • The Invincible Haggard West – 101
  • This week’s comic book cover to look at and examine is “Master of Kung Fu” #105 by Gene Day. This is another comic book cover from my youth that has stuck with me as a favorite all these years. I always liked Gene Day’s art and it’s a shame that he died young (at age 31 in September of 1982 about a year after this issue) just as he was really starting to come into his own.

    Day’s art usually had a lot of design work elements in it (I think he was influenced by Jim Steranko) and this cover epitomizes that. He’s not telling a story with this cover in the usual way, i.e. literal, but he’s using the design to tell the story. Razor Fist is coming for Shang Chi (The Master of Kung Fu) and he’s relentless about it. He’s not going to stop. Shang Chi will have to dance on some razors to live through this one.

    This cover uses the kind of symmetry that I like best: asymmetrical symmetry. It appears to be symmetrical because of all the symmetrical components but it’s really not because of the asymmetrical components. The three Razor Fists and the central circle are symmetrical but Shang Chi and the bottom knives are not. But the asymmetrical parts are balanced so they continue the symmetrical theme without being symmetrical themselves. Asymmetrical symmetry I call it. It’s not always easy to pull off.

    The type on this cover is pretty good too. It’s top heavy with a lot of words up there but it generally stays out of the way and behaves. The red and yellow with bits of blue color scheme is simple and effective. Overall I like the drawing with Day going for a finely muscled Bruce Lee-like Shang Chi but Razor Fist’s rather stumpy arms take a little away from things. The foreshortening that was attempted was quite pulled off. Though the graphic element of the knives at the bottom, some in the background and some in the foreground, work well for me.

    What really makes this cover memorable is its use of repetition. I don’t see that very often. Again, again, again, and then three Razor Fists. For some reason that repeats nicely in my mind and sticks there. In a good way. I like the drama of it. Good design, good color, nice drawing, and an interesting if different story to tell. This one does it for me.