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

  • Archer and Armstrong – 10
  • Savage Dragon – 188
  • Mister X: Eviction – 2
  • Rachel Rising – 17
  • East of West – 3
  • In thinking about what comic book covers to look at and write about about this one came to mind. “The Ringo Kid” #10 by Herb Trimpe (rhymes with shrimpy). It came out in 1971 which means it was a bit before my time. I didn’t find it until the mid 1990s when I discovered a bunch of early 1970s Marvel western comic book covers that were drawn by Trimpe. They turned out to be some of my favorites that he ever did.

    The first thing I like about this one is the composition. It has a lot more air in it than is usual and I like that. The main focus of the cover is the river of blue green that runs down the center of the cover. Not something you see much on comic book covers. Plus it has an interesting almost op-art effect when the river seems to turn into a sky as we come upon the guy hanging from the Ringo Kid’s boot. Since the hanging guy is next to the rectangular title box that little piece of space in the cover seems to flatten out into a sky rather than recede into the perspective of the canyon. It’s a playful use of space. That plus the Ringo kid seems to be hanging from the logo.

    The logo, trade dress, and lettering are very much lined up on a grid and that works nicely as a counter-point to the deep space of the canyons. The word balloons are completely pointless though. Compositionally they work fine but they add nothing to the story being told on the cover. We can easily see that the Ringo Kid and his pal are going to fall or get shot. We don’t need it explained to us. Unlike other covers when I look at this one I don’t even read the balloons. They don’t ruin it but they don’t add anything either.

    The drawing on this cover looks a little different than Trimpe’s other work. It looks a bit more like John Severin than he usually does and it’s all done with a scratchy pen line. I guess that was in keeping with the western theme. Overall it’s another cover that keeps my eye moving around it seeing all the things it has to see. That’s the kind of thing I go for.