Author Topic: Gimmick Cover Cavalcade!: Force Works #1  (Read 2056 times)

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Offline JackFrost

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Gimmick Cover Cavalcade!: Force Works #1
« on: February 16, 2009, 02:25:18 AM »
Note: These have been cleared off Demonoid, so I wanted to make sure I didn't lose them entirely, so I'll post them here.

Ah, comics in the '90s.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

The 'speculator market' was in full swing, and publishers were more than happy to give these people the collectibles they thought they desired, and the speculators would in turn buy 10 copies and bag, board & hoard them. Though most would get them signed first, naturally. ::) As an aside: the benefit of the speculator market was the sheer diversity of titles in lots of genres.

I worked in a shop through most of the decade, and at the time I despised gimmick covers. Now I just see how stupid and laughable many of them were. A 'fools and their money' kind-of-thing. And luckily, true to my prediction based on the fact that you can't make a collectible, they're virtually worthless. So adding a few to the collection isn't a big deal. So now I have a bunch of them -- kind of a guilty pleasure, you might say. ;) And it's hard to describe some of them to people, sometimes, so it's better to just show them.

At some point during the boom, speculators looking for the next Action Comics #1 were convinced that gimmick covers were going to be a good bet for that kind of 'investment'. And there were a ton of them. A few were pretty cool, most were really bad. And some were downright ridiculous.

Case in point:



(Click here for larger image)

Force Works #1
48 pgs
$3.95 (Yikes!)
July 1994
Marvel Comics

Cover Pencils: Tom Tenny (Who?)
Cover Inks: Rey Garcia (Que?)

At first glance it looks like nothing more than a gatefold cover, which isn't truly much of a gimmick, although in the hands of better artists, gatefold covers are pretty sweet. The art is certainly nothing special-- I mean, what's going on with Scarlet Witch's torso and waist there? It seems U.S.Agent wears that expression through most of the issue, too.  But what we're really concerned with is the crooked rectangle I've highlighted here:



This is a 'pop-up' cover, and under that rectangle hides a 3-D fight scene! Considering how many were probably just bagged and put away, I wonder how many people have actually seen what's inside for fear of making it 'not mint'.  :D And I'm really not sure what possessed Marvel to put it at an angle like that. It seems to me that the art would be easier to align if it were square with the edges of the cover.  :-/

Anyway, you must start at the bottom and peel up the lower flap, like so:



Keep in mind that 'peel' means that there is glue on the cover of the book. And as you can imagine the glue was occasionally misapplied so several copies became fixed to one another. Not to mention the fold-out was open at the sides, so they'd get caught and torn when putting them on the shelves. I saw this coming so I bagged them before putting them out to minimize both problems, but this of course added to my cost.

But we're not done yet, here is the rest of the butterfly emerging from it's cocoon. Let's share the beauty together, shall we?:




Et Voil?!

Interestingly, there is no corresponding sequence inside the issue that this cover is highlighting. In one panel it claims that a ship carrying a Kree army shows up, but not that you'd notice from the fight sequences (maybe Kree are just too hard to draw and they used them all up on this cover piece). :-/ But there's a very robotic looking Wonder Man shooting up from a horde of them. Honestly, this is about as good as it gets too because from other angles you lose some of the perspective on it.

Here's a top-down view that shows the rest of the team and the horde more clearly, but then Wonder Man looks retarded there in the middle:



And this angle is just worthless:



But the real pain in the arse here, is refolding the politician! Negotiating all of those folds back together, making sure that Wonder Man slips in between the proper creases, it not an easy task. It has one correct combination, and if you don't find it the thing never lays flat.

Unfortunately, I learned how to refold it awhile ago so I forgot to take pics of what it looks like when it's wrong. Oh well, sorry...

And there are plenty more gimmicks where this came from...  ;D

Offline JackFrost

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Re: Gimmick Cover Cavalcade!: Force Works #1
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2009, 10:53:38 AM »
People actually buy those for the covers? 

Back during the 90s, yes they did, which is why we ended up getting ridiculous shite like the example above.

Fortunately, I'd long since given up superhero comics, so I only have these becasue people gave them to me for free...  :D