There’s probably no need to write a panegyric on Leonard Brandt Cole, 1918-1995. (But did you know he had a doctorate in anatomy and physiology?) The first thing that springs to mind is his use of primary colours over frequently black backgrounds, what he referred to as “poster colours”. Indeed, most L.B. Cole covers would, and occasionally do, make great posters. Going into biographical detail, one might also mention his publishing company, Star Publications, founded in 1949 and singled out in Fredric Wertham’s 1954 exposéSeduction of the Innocent for the “grisly” nature of its published horror titles. Then there’s his work as art director and editor at Dell in the early 1960s… but as usual, I’ll let others get to the nitty-gritty of his life and career. Here are some of my very favourite L.B. Cole covers, in chronological order.
« An avid science fiction fan, Cole was known for slipping in sci-fi elements even when they weren’t appropriate, such as rocket ships and ray guns appearing on the covers of Captain Flight Comics and Contact Comics. Both titles were supposed to be devoted to contemporary aviation. » (source) Fuck being appropriate, I say!