Howard The Duck Magazine #3, 1980, Marvel Comics, Cover by Jack Davis.
POP continues its celebration and examination of great comic covers from the 1960s through the 2000s, this week returning to the Eighties for this month’s first Christmas edition of Retro Cover Of The Week.
I can’t imagine passing up the opportunity to feature cover art by the late, great Jack Davis (1924-2016) of MAD Magazine fame. At the end of the 1970s, the anthropomorphic, dimensionally displaced Howard The Duck was flying high on his initial wave of popularity, so much so that Marvel started a black and white magazine-sized volume in 1979 featuring new stories, aimed at an older audience.
Marvel hired a combination of comic book artists, book/magazine painter/illustrators, and cartoonists like Davis to produce covers for Howard The Duck Magazine. Most of the covers for the early issues were sub-par, but a highlight was the surprise Marvel appearance of Jack Davis, one of the founding artists of MAD, on the cover of issue #3 from 1980.
Davis’ composition of the typically angry and demanding Howard on the lap of a very bewildered and patient Santa is editorial illustration gold. Davis of course nails Howard’s likeness perfectly, as he holds an unrolling scroll of NON-NEGOTIABLE DEMANDS, with classic Davis-isms like Santa’s outstretched pinkie finger, and those easily-recognizable Jack Davis feet.
I wasn’t aware of this cover before I did my Christmas cover search, so it was an early present to discover it for this month’s first POP Retro Cover Of The Week!
Next week: A Christmas cover from the image-over-substance, cross-hatchy Nineties!