DescriptionFrank Frazetta Tim Holt #17 Cover Ghost Rider Original Art (Magazine Enterprises, 1950). One of the absolute highlights of our auction is this scintillating cover. Vin Sullivan was the legendary first editor for DC Comics (then National Allied Publications), and the man who discovered and signed Siegel and Shuster (who created Superman), as well as many other industry pioneers. In 1943, he founded Magazine Enterprises, bringing with him some top talent. The most notable character created by ME was The Ghost Rider.
Sullivan had hired Frank Frazetta for some other ME features. In 1950, after honing his skills with pencil and brush, Frazetta was turned loose on their new main character, The Ghost Rider! By issue #17 of Tim Holt, Frazetta had hit his stride and his art was at its sharpest. A big fan of Victor Mature, Frazetta used his likeness for the bound figure on this cover. The character looks like he was pulled directly out of the (then) recent Cecil B. DeMille blockbuster Samson and Delilah. Frazetta was very proud of this cover, in particular the movement of the horse, the captured image of Mature, and the extremely deft inking. This cover is a gem!
The Ghost Rider character was so popular he would eventually morph into not one, but two different Marvel Comics characters. First there was an almost straight clone of the ME version down to a very similar cover on Marvel's 1967 Ghost Rider #1. A later modern version of the character on a flaming motorcycle ran for many years and spawned two feature films starring Nicolas Cage.
Frazetta or the publisher decided to redraw the shading under the edge of the cape, either due to the logo placement or to shift the "roll" on the cape. Gouache was applied over the shading on the original art and then re-inked over the gouache. When this cover was being professionally conserved, the white gouache was flaking, so the flaking gouache was removed by the restorer, revealing the art as drawn originally by Frazetta.
The signature seen here does not appear on the printed comic. Frazetta had signed the cover in two areas and as often was the case, the publisher obscured it, in this case with black. The signature was visible beneath, so the black was carefully scraped away, revealing the signature.
This stunning cover is ink over graphite on Bristol board with an image area of 13" x 18.5". Logo and text is paste-up and has only tanned slightly. Page is sharp and crisp. In Excellent condition.
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