Sword of Sorcery No. 1 Unpublished Cover by Jeffrey Catherine Jones

The early 1970s saw an influx of new talent at DC, most of it shepherded by editor Joe Orlando. The four artists who would later make up The Studio – Bernie Wrightson, Michael Wm Kaluta, Jeffrey Catherine Jones and Barry Windsor Smith – had three of their number at DC while Windsor Smith was over at Marvel. Working outside the normal super-heroic books, they made their mark with covers, as well as adventure and horror stories.

They were joined after their arrival by Howard Victor Chaykin who pencilled the interiors for this, an adaptation of Fritz Lieber’s Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser stories, as well as his own IronWolf over in Weird Worlds, a former Edgar Rice Burroughs-themed book.

The original cover for Sword of Sorcery No. 1 was drawn by Jones but rejected for publication. Perhaps it was deemed a little too mytho-poetic by Carmine Infantino, as the published cover drawn by Kaluta was based on an Infantino layout sketch and featured a much-more-traditional action scene.

Jones’ illustration has no shortage of atmosphere and I wanted to see what kind of cover it would make finally. Colour and packaging by myself.

Sword of Sorcery #1 published by DC Comics

The published cover. Art by Michael Wm Kaluta from a supplied layout sketch by Carmine Infantino.

Sword of Sorcery #1 Unpublished Cover Art by Jeffrey Catherine Jones

Original art scan from Heritage Auctions. The art was in such pristine condition I had virtually nothing to do to make it production ready.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

Colour version.

Comic book design and packaging by Scott Dutton

Re-created trade dress added.

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