Gus Ricca’s Iconic Dr. Doom Cover of Dynamic Comics #11, Up for Auction

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There’s no denying that a cover has a huge impact on the value of a vintage comic. But the stories behind some of the most famous covers in comic book history are sometimes surprisingly little known. We discussed here recently examples such as Frank Frazettathe cover of Scary #4 and the captivating cover of Horrible #1. Gus Ricathe fascinating cover of Dynamic Comics #11 is another outstanding example. What exactly is going on on this highly sought-after cover? It has something to do with a character named Dr Doom. This clue and others that point to what it is can be found in the stories of Dynamic Comics #11, and in the story of Gus Ricca. An iconic Golden Age cover by an underrated artist, there is a Dynamic Comics #11 (Chesler, 1944) CGC FN- 5.5 Off-white to white pages and another large Ricca cover with Dynamic Comics #8 (Chesler, 1944) and the legendary madman Dynamic Comics #18 The Propeller Monster cover will be up for auction at the Halloween Pre-Code Horror & Crime Comics Auction October 27-28, 2022 #40207 at Heritage Auctions.

Dynamic Comics #11, cover by Gus Ricca, (Chesler, 1944)

Gus Ricca, born Gaspano Ignazio Ricca in 1906, was an accomplished magazine and book cover artist and newspaper illustrator long before working in comics for Harry A. Chesler, Marvel and Fawcett among others. Ricca also became Chesler’s art director in 1944. Ricca often took a symbolic and interpretive approach to the subjects of his cover work, as can be seen on his covers for the likes of Freedom ReviewThe Century Co., What’s on the airand Necklaces among others.

It seems likely that the now famous Ricca Dynamic Comics #11 the cover is based on that issue’s “The Echo” inside story. Ricca is known to have taken the story of Echo from Dynamic comics #10. Although the artist of Echo’s story in #11 is unknown, it resembles Ricca’s work, and the story itself contains the chemical elements and characters that match this spectacular cover.

The Echo featured the crime-fighting exploits of a family of two brothers and their sister who were thrust into an underworld-battling mission by the ghost of their murdered father. The Echo himself was a ventriloquist who wore an invisibility belt created by his super-scientist brother, who goes by the name of Dr. Doom (after the family’s ancestral home, Doom Hall). It is clear from the title page of the first appearance and origin of this team in Yankee Comics #1 that the scientist appears on the cover of Dynamic Comics #11 is indeed Dr. Doom. The character in the far right test tube is likely Sister Cora, and the detective with the spyglass in the center test tube is likely the Echo himself. The team foiled the plot of a clever thief who stole a valuable chemical formula from the story.

It is a classic example of Ricca symbolism inspired by the circumstances of history. An iconic Golden Age cover by an underrated artist, there is a Dynamic Comics #11 (Chesler, 1944) CGC FN- 5.5 Off-white to white pages and another large Ricca cover with Dynamic Comics #8 (Chesler, 1944) and the legendary madman Dynamic Comics #18 The Propeller Monster cover will be up for auction at the Halloween Pre-Code Horror & Crime Comics Auction October 27-28, 2022 #40207 at Heritage Auctions. If you have never bid on Heritage Auctions before, you can get more information, you can check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related questions.

Dynamic Comics #11 (Chesler, 1944).
Dynamic Comics #11 (Chesler, 1944).
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Posted in: Comics, Sponsored by Heritage, Vintage Paper | Tagged: Chesler, pre-code horror

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