Scans of original art are from the Kirby Museum's Original Art Digital Archive.
Scans of pencil art photocopies for the Kirby Museum's Pencil Art Photocopy Archive courtesy of the Kirby Family, with thanks to TwoMorrows Publishing.
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I love those covers where they made the comic look like a book! Also check out that ca-raaazy perspective!
Man your eye just gets pulled all over the place!
When I saw this original art I thought something about the "spine" looked different from the published cover. Sure enough, the published version has "NO.1" in a black circle at the top, then directly below it reads "STUNT MAN COMICS" stacked in three lines, and (near the bottom of the spine) the type "by SIMON AND KIRBY" is stacked in four lines. Plus all of that spine copy reads in the same direction and is rendered in perspective — unlike here. In addition, the copy that reads "NEW CHAMP OF SPLIT-SECOND ACTION!" above the comic's title is missing. It's possible that type may have been a paste-up that has since fallen off. But the spine copy looks to have been hand-lettered so I'm at a loss to understand where it went.
This may be the result of reworking the cover for a reprint. The other interesting thing is that like other art from this era, it most likely was produced on thick illustration board. The art now is mounted/glued on bristol board so it could have been separated from the illustration board at some point and reassembled...
No, not a precursor to Mister Miracle. They are vaguely similar in that both characters are performers, Stuntman a circus performer who's costumed, so is Mister Miracle, but the stories and situations are different. Stuntman is a bit of a detective, Mister Miracle is a soldier in the war against Apolokips who happens to be a performer. That's my take, at least. And, of course, both characters are costumed.
Odd that Simon added that poorly drawn rope cutting into the picture across the lower right corner. It serves no purpose and is out of whack with the thrust of the composition.