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L B. Cole, Bill Schelly

Black Light: The World Of L. B. Cole

On sale date: January 4, 2015

This book rediscovers the lost art of L.B. Cole; it collects his proto-psychedelic comic-book covers.

L.B. Cole created some of the most bizarre, proto-psychedelic, eye-popping comic book covers of all time, yet remarkably this is the first retrospective of his career, featuring the largest collection of Cole covers ever assembled, in an oversize format that showcases his attention to detail and his versatility in all the popular comic book genres of the day. Cole burst into comics during the glory years of the Golden Age of comics. He was famous for his bold covers, usually featuring "poster colors" — brilliant primaries often over black backgrounds — and an over-the-top sense of the bizarre mixed with whimsy. There’s never been a comic book cover designer like L.B. Cole and there’s never been a book like this one.


"L.B. Cole's comic covers are visual comfort food to a certain generation. ... A quick scroll through his published history will launch you back to a time of pulpy goodness: one where werewolves, crocodiles and mullet-clad skeletons lined the shelves along with less-broody Batmen. Whether that nostalgia comes from viewing Cole's work during your childhood, or it's set in some nostalgic grey-area from before your birth, Cole's work cements him as one of the premier cover artists in the Golden Age of comics." — Tyler R. Kane - Paste

"Not without reason has Fantagraphics titled its monograph of Cole's work Black Light: If these covers had been printed 20 years later they would have hung on walls from Haight-Ashbury to Telegraph Ave. The sharp contrast and tasteless spectacle makes for an attractive package. Not a one of the hundreds of covers on display, from titles as diverse as Guns Against Gangsters to The Living Bible, is anything less than an eye-popping masterpiece. They draw you in immediately to the strange worlds hidden beneath the covers." — Tim O'Neil - The A.V. Club

"Black Light: The World of L.B. Cole rescues the reputation (and art) of a nearly forgotten proto-psychedelic comic book cover artist from the 1940s and '50s… Like so many of his hack-'em-out brethren in the primordial golden age of comic books, Cole worked in all the usual genres — crime and western, funny animals and romance, war and horror — creating shocking and theatrical covers…" — Dana Jennings - The New York Times

"…[L.B. Cole was] one of the great visual imaginations of that era in mainstream work." — Tom Spurgeon - The Comics Reporter

"...[A] wonderful collection of L.B. Cole's eye-splitting, weird and wonderful artwork: Proto-psychedelic covers for pulps and comics, pin-ups, men's magazines and more, all printed on deliciously oversized pages." — John Porcellino (King-Cat, The Hospital Suite)


Paperback / Softback
9.7" × 13.3"