More Money-Saving Comic Covers: First Flight

In 1987 the talented artist Luis Royo supplied this wrap around cover art for Chris Claremont’s verbose alien contact science fiction novel First Flight.

Yes, I bought it when it first came out only because it was by the writer of the X-Men. Yes, I was dissapointed in it because the novel had as protagonists characters clearly inspired by the X-Men’s Storm and Wolverine. The asian, male fight-master mentor of the female lead actually had his genetic structure modified by the alien visitors to make him more cat-like and feral.

Chris…Chris…Chris. Tsk.

Then a few years later the same art showed up as a cover for issue #37 of the Italian comic series Lanciostory Anno VXII (October 1991).

It isn’t exactly accurate to state that the comic cover is ‘money-saving’, unless the rights-holder gave the publisher a discount for recycling old art. If nothing else, it would be more precise to say that the art was ‘time-saving’, instead. It seems pretty clear that Royo (or whoever owns the art) sold the use of the image to the fumetti publisher to use for Lanciostory. While the comics fan in me dislikes seeing recycled images and prefers new stuff AT ALL TIMES, there is nothing at all wrong with it. An artist can sell his portfolio wherever and whenever he wants.

As you can see from using the GCD link above, Lanciostory used painted covers for all their magazines. I recognized only two covers has having been used elsewhere. If there are more that have similar provenance I do not recognize them, though a few seem to have familiar layouts. Issue #37 was not the only time they used recycled art. One is from First Flight and the other used art was previously published as the cover for the 1985 Ace edition of Probe, by Carole Nelson Douglas, which later then graced the cover of Lanciostory #47 (1991).

Previous frugal covers: On The Spot and Dell’s monster anthology.

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