Windmills beware! Here comes the Classics Illustrated adaptation of Cervantes’ Don Quixote. It’s the second version of the cover of issue number 11. This version is from 1968. At least, I think it’s from that year. Classics Illustrated had a confusing numbering and dating system, so I’m not sure. But the Grand Comics Database says it’s 1968. I’ll go with that.
The cover is a painted illustration by Taylor Oughton. Earlier versions of the Classics Illustrated covers were done in a more traditional comic art style with black ink drawings filled with brilliant colors. However, I tend to prefer the painted covers.
The first version of this cover was also a painted illustration and it’s not bad. It’s an action scene with our deluded hero charging into battle against a cartoonishly smiling windmill. It was done by illustrator Mort Kunstler. It’s good, too, but it’s the Oughton version I really like.
I like the portrait of a great man look. It’s a portrait that might hang beside other great people in some prestigious museum of Eurpeon history. “… and he is probably best known for having six wives. Not all at once, of course. (Tour guests chuckle.) Next we have the brave, if deranged or severely near-sighted, Don Quoxite…”
The orange blaze sky and clouds are good. The windmills have a subtle sense of menace to them. One has the hint of a face. The shiny metal of the armor is well done, but I think a little more reflection of the blazing sky would make it even better.
What strikes me as great about this cover is, of course, Don Quixote’s face. Realistically painted, he doesn’t appear to be unhinged. In fact, he looks weary. A little sad. It seems as though he’s earned every line, crack, and wrinkle on his craggy visage. He’s a serious man on a serious quest. Even if he does have that whimsical mustache.
I also like how he feels stuffed into that armor. He is sealed in. Not being an expert on how armor is supposed to fit, I would think it should be a bit looser. Perhaps that tightness adds a certain tension to the image.
I think it’s great!
Feel free to comment and share.
Images used under Fair Use.
Warehouse Find is the official blog of NostalgiaZone.com, where you can find books, games, toys, cards, and a huge selection of Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Age comic books. Jim also has a podcast called Dimland Radio. He’d love it if you checked it out. It’s available on iTunes.