L.B. Cole was ahead of his time. Considerably ahead, in fact, of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s black light posters and psychedelic movement in art, music and fashion which his unique style evokes.
Cole entered the comic book industry in the mid-1940’s working with a couple of small publishers (Rural Home, Narrative and Aviation Press). His focus was extensively (but not exclusively) on covers – striving for what he called “poster color covers” presumably in part to drive attention and sales off the rack. The non-typical for the era brilliant primaries over black backgrounds created a wild psychedelic look which was often further enhanced by Cole’s penchant for science-fiction subject matter.
While his art was considerably ahead of his time, his timing for getting into the comic book industry as a publisher was not as fortuitous. In the late 1940’s he founded Star Publications, Inc. with lawyer Gerhard Kramer. Operating during the years 1949–1954 it ran smack dab into the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency hearings and the end of the Golden Age of comics.
Shown above is my copy of Terrors of the Jungle #6* from September 1953 (Star Publications) . A perfect example of Cole’s style, inside stories contain new work as well as reprinted material from Fox’s Jo-Jo Comics #18 (August 1948).
Terrors of the Jungle #7 from December 1953 is also instantly recognizable Cole and also contains some Fox reprints, in this case the work of Matt Baker on Rulah from Fox’s Zoot Comics #13 and #14 (April and May 1948 respectively).
* Sold copy