Indie Cover of the Day: Justice Machine #2

Welcome to the first entry in what will hopefully be a daily feature on my blog, wherein I’ll post independent and creator-owned comic book covers of special significance to me. They could be from indie series that I like, feature the artwork of a favorite artist, be a newsworthy comic, or simply be a cover I like.

We’ll kick off the feature with the wrap-around cover to Justice Machine #2:

This is by Mike Gustovich, published by Comico, February 1987.

This issue holds a special place in my heart, as it was my first ever indie (i.e. not Marvel or DC) comic purchase. It occurred when I stumbled across my first comic book shop, the now-defunct The Wizard of Comics on Indianola Ave. in Columbs, OH. I had been picking up comics on a regular basis from the spinner racks of neighborhood mom-and-pop stores for a few years by this point (mainly Marvel, with an occasional foray into the world of DC, usually a Green Lantern book), but discovering a comic shop really blew my mind. The selection and variety of comics I’d never heard of before, from unfamiliar publishers, was a jolt to my system. I think I gravitated towards this particular issue because the cover firmly established it as a colorful superhero adventure, which was in my comfort zone at the time. But flipping through the book, I was greeted with a double-page splash, and characters that bickered with each other, and occasionally cussed. Needless to say, I was intrigued, and started collecting Justice Machine.

The house ads for other Comico titles in each issue eventually led me to Matt Wagner’s Grendel, and Bill Willingham’s Elementals. And of course visiting a comic shop on a regular basis led me to expand my reading from Marvel/DC to the indie powehouses of the time, including Dark Horse, Eclipse, First, and more.