Spirit of 76 Part II

Not a very good scan, but here is the original artwork for the cover of Jack’s Bicentennial Battles.

If you look closely you can see the edges where the Minutemen image was pasted onto the page.

It appears the owner of the original artwork must have removed a paste-up of Captain America sprawled out on the ground to reveal some Kirby machinery underneath.

These are not great scans, but it looks like someone in production made a xerox of the space ship (in the orange circle), then used that copy as a paste-up a few inches higher (in the yellow circle). That allowed room for the Captain America paste-up to be inserted.

Here’s a comment from John S. on yesterday’s post:

My guess is that the masthead strips were provided by Marvel, not photocopied by Jack, because if you look carefully, you’ll see that the lettering on the printed OZ treasury is in negative (that is, white on black or color), while the lettering on Jack’s pencilled page is positive (black on white). It’s fairly unlikely that Jack’s home copier had the capability to make changes like that.

I can’t understand why Marvel would replace the shot of Cap boxing against John L. Sullivan with a picture of the Minutemen, particularly since Jack’s original composition allowed room for the UPC symbol. Taking out a picture of the book’s star and replacing it with some non-descript soldiers doesn’t make much sense, especially in view of the fact that they STILL left enough dead space in that area for the symbol, but then didn’t put it in!

I’m with you on the logo, as well. It’s good that they left it mostly as Kirby had designed it, but having the stripes on the LARGE word in the MIDDLE made more sense from a design standpoint than what they did in the final version.

It’s still a good cover, though, in spite of those minor criticisms, and an even better BOOK–which I also consider to be one of the earliest American graphic novels (as was Jack’s 2001 adaptation). The story was fabulous, and although I wasn’t too crazy about the Herb Trimpe inks, I thought the contributions from Giacoia, Romita and BWS were outstanding.