DescriptionFred Guardineer Action Comics #15 Superman Cover Original Art (DC, 1939). Offered here is the original art for only the fifth Superman cover appearance ever, as the Man of Tomorrow rushes to the aid of a distressed U.S. submarine. It's easily the earliest Superman cover art known to exist and quite possibly the earliest Superman art in existence.
The comic book issue for this key book is ranked #67 on Overstreet's Top 100 Golden Age Comics list, and valued at a cool $30,000 in NM- 9.2 condition. Fred Guardineer, a 20-year veteran of comics, delineated the covers of many of the early DC books, including this museum-worthy cover. Guardineer acquired a fine arts degree in 1935, then moved to New York City, where he drew for pulp magazines. The following year he joined the studio of Harry "A" Chesler, an early "packager" supplying comics features on demand for publishers entering the emerging medium of comic books. There he drew adventure features such as "Dave Dean" and the science-fiction feature "Dan Hastings" before going freelance in 1938. Guardineer was among the contributors to the future DC Comics' landmark title Action Comics #1, the famous comic that introduced Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's seminal superhero, Superman. For that title, Guardineer wrote, drew, and lettered the 12-page feature introducing his magician-hero creation, Zatara, a character remaining in the DC stable as of the 21st century. With his clean and uncluttered approach, Guardineer brought a dynamic zest to this super-undersea Superman piece.
It was apparent by this issue that Superman was selling Action Comics, evidenced by his more frequent cover appearances. This iconic Golden Age showpiece was drawn in ink on illustration board, and its image area of the cover measures 12.5" x 17.25". Aside from some glue staining and rippling to the original title logo stat, some overall paper aging, and edge and corner wear, the art is in Very Good condition.
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