Regular followers of this blog (all three of you) are aware of my ongoing attempt to amass the entire 61-issue run of Twilight Zone Magazine, which was published from 1981 to 1989. I've made quite a bit of progress in this endeavor, but the job isn't quite done yet (I'm still 8 issues short). For today's blog entry, I thought I'd spotlight my top five favorite covers from the magazine's 9-year run. I'll count 'em down Casey Kasem-style...
Our countdown begins with #5, the December 1988 issue, painted by Alan Reingold. TZ creator Rod Serling was featured on a scant three covers throughout the magazine's run, which I find appalling. Christ, they featured Stephen King on three covers, and he had nothing whatsoever to do with the show (well, besides writing the script for "Gramma" for the 80's revival series)! Sheesh, every flippin' issue of the Gold Key TZ comic book (previously discussed here) had a photo of Serling on the cover. Grrrrr. Anyway, all three Serling covers are quite nice, and two of them are among my top five favorites. This one came near the end of the magazine's run (only three issues would follow it).
In the #4 spot is July 1982's cover, painted by David White. That floating face (might be a porcelain mask, might be a goddess, might be an android, who knows?), along with the blank space in the bottom fourth of the canvas, makes for a compelling visual. Subtract all the text and this would make an excellent wall painting. I guess the same could be said of all these covers.
At #3 we find another Serling cover, this time gracing the April 1985 issue, painted by Luke Ryan. I'm a sucker for infinite-mirror visuals, so naturally I dig this one since it features my idol. I've always wondered if the artist actually painted multiple (increasingly smaller) versions of the main picture, or if it was done by overlapping color copies (this was done pre-Photoshop, after all).
I've always loved this next cover (April 1982), which is perched comfortably at #2 on my list, painted by Kevin Larson. I'm not quite sure what it's supposed to be... is it a woman frozen in a wall of ice? Is it an ice creature, feared and misunderstood but ultimately benevolent? Whatever it is... it's gorgeous. Side note: this image was re-used the following year as the back cover of the 1983 annual issue, with almost no text to distract from its beauty.
And now we arrive at the top. My all-time favorite TZ Magazine cover is.... April 1989, painted by Marvin Mattelson. This one came very late in the magazine's run (the issue that followed it would be the last). Throughout most of the magazine's run, the covers were often overloaded with text, but here... well, there's almost nothing, just that poor guy staring out at you from his underwater prison. Just awesome. The walls of my home office are blue, and my wife is an artist. I already dropped a hint that I'd love to see a similar guy painted directly on the wall. Time will tell if she got the hint....