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What Were They Thinking?

On Judging (DC’s March) Books By Their Covers, I remarked that I had no idea what was going on on a Tony Moore cover for Exterminators. Reader Danx wrote in to post a link to Moore’s original cover, and let me tell you, it is striking how silly the change is – it takes a cover that made perfect sense and made it make NO sense!

Read on to see the two covers…

Here’s the original, sensical cover…

ext_27_cov.jpg

Now here’s the new one…

EXTER-Cv27_solicit1.jpg

What the heck?

What do you think was the thought process here?

50 Comments

Dr. Fred told us that kids imitate what they see in comics. Obviously DC didn’t want anyone to bomb fruit.

I will never buy cantaloupe again. ANYTHING could be in there!

–K

Dr. Fred told us that kids imitate what they see in comics. Obviously DC didn’t want anyone to bomb fruit.

That’s the only idea that even makes a LITTLE sense, I guess.

But if it IS that – SOOO silly.

He stuck his alarm clock into a fruit? That’s stupid.

I still don’t get it. It looks like the guy is holding an asthma inhaler. What does has to do with a bomb, I don’t know.

I dunno what the inhaler means. It probably is the detonator, but even if it is not, you at least get that he’s holding a bomb, right?

In the second one, you have NO idea what is going on. He’s just hold a piece of fruit!

Does it have anything to do with the way he is dressed?
Maybe they didn’t want to offend lovers of Che?

Perhaps the kid is asthmatic?

What I’m wondering is how the hell they got that bomb in that cantaloupe in the first place without ripping it to pieces. Did they organically grow it there?

I dunno what the inhaler means. It probably is the detonator, but even if it is not, you at least get that he’s holding a bomb, right?

The first one I think is meant to be unsettling that way – on one level it’s a kid with an inhaler and some fruit…except, whoops, look under the surface and…

If that’s the case, it’s possible the edit was an artistic one, meant to heighten the conf…nahhhh, it’s just stupid.

I was thinking that maybe they wanted it to be more of a mystery as to what was up with the cantaloupe, so people would be theoretically intrigued enough to look inside the book.

Not that I think they were right, but that’s the best explanation I can come up with.

Maybe there’s been a recent rash of melon bombings, and DC doesn’t want to appear insensitive.

Or, more seriously… could it be something spoiler-related? Like the end of #26 reveals he’s got a bomb, so DC don’t want to give it away in the solicits? And the actual, printed cover will feature the bomb version?

“I dunno what the inhaler means. It probably is the detonator, but even if it is not, you at least get that he’s holding a bomb, right?”

I get that the fruit is a bomb, but the objects still seem so far apart that I just can’t step that boundary of disbelief to make them relevant to each other. I understand theory-wise it could be a detonator, but I don’t can’t force myself to accept it. I dunno, to me, all I see is a guy holding a bomb and an inhaler.

I thought the inhaler was meant to show how nervous he is.

I don’t think the inhaler is a detonator – the bomb has a clock on it.

Fair enough, Ryan.

Some days you just can’t get rid of a melon.

Compared to insects with genitals, this barely registers on the potential offens-o-meter. Does this book get enough exposure outside it’s standard set of regular readers to warrant cover censorship?

16.Sanagi said …

Some days you just can’t get rid of a melon.

Oh, god, how I love that movie!!!

I figured the inhaler was a device to show how the most damaging things can be done by the seemlingly weakest people.

Either way it doesn’t make sense.
It’s either “Why is that kid holding a cantaloupe and an inhaler?”
or
“Why is that kid holding a cantaloupe and an inhaler, and why does the cantaloupe have a bomb inside of it?”

Even if the inhaler IS a detonator(The cover does not make this obvious as it should if this was the the case then the question is “Why is this kid going to detonante a bomb (that’s inside a cantoloupe,)while it’s still in his hand.

If you see a comic cover with a dude carrying a bomb, you don’t have to know MORE than that – that’s the point of reading the comic book.

But yeah, even knowing that the cantaloupe is supposed to have a bomb in it, I’d still say it was an odd cover,.

Maybe the cantaloupe is asthmatic?

I figure the kid doesn’t know the bomb is there.

That would be a likely call, but I think the solicits make it sound like the kid is trying to be a bit of a revolutionary (the issue is called “Raising Che”), so it is likely that he knows it is a bomb.

I’m surprised everyone is assuming this change was intentional. Judging from that first cover, the bomb image looks like a separate drawing superimposed over the original. I bet the bomb was on a separate Photoshop layer, and when the book went to press some pre-press person lost the extra layer and never noticed.

Never underestimate the incompetence of professionals :)

Tony Moore posted the original cover on his website (the one with the bomb showing) and said that his cover was edited.

Says Tony – “updated this guy after some more editorial notes came back. made me cover up my sweet sweet melon and now the entire idea seems hamfisted. i dunno. not my favorite cover.”

That´s PC America!!

I agree with Apocada. When I saw the asthma inhaller I thought it meant the kid was nervous (and kind of fragile, asthma is a desease popularly associate with fragility)

SanctumSanctorumComix

January 24, 2008 at 6:20 am

Everyone knows that an asthma inhaler and an over-the-counter cantaloupe can be mixed to make crystal meth.

The “bomb” was superimposed to foreshadow the inevitable
explosion that will occur.

Melon guts… everywhere.

;-)

~P~
P-TOR

It reminds me of Teenage Dirtbag. I don’t know about America, but when they play it on the radio in Britain, the lines “Her boyfriend’s a dick, he brings a gun to school” become “Her boyfriend’s a …… he …………….”

Yup – for some reason the censors hate the idea of a song that suggests that taking a gun to school is somehow a bad thing.

DanCJ: Let’s just ignore your suggestion that having emotionally unstable teenagers carry concealed firearms is a GOOD thing. That’s just too idiotic to discuss in depth.

In America, we seem to have school shootings with alarming regularity. Some whacked out depressive get convinced that killing his teenage tormenters is the best way of dealing with them. They’re usually on the fringe of high-school socieity, prime targets for ridicule. They crack and kill a bunch of kids before killing themselves.

Then we have intnese gang rivalry in inner city schools. Kild would get killed for wearing the wrong gang colors.

Yea, here in America we have plenty of reasons for thinking guns in school are bad.

I read DanCJ’s post without the slightest inclination that he actually supported kids bringing guns to school. I thought he was just being ironic. Now I know better.

Bad, DanCJ. Bad. No.

“Thats PC America”
-That comment is so nonsensical and asinine that I couldn’t even come up with a witty retort.

To me, it looks like the kid is freaking out about the bomb and thus has inhaler on hand in case he starts hyperventilating. As for the change… I’m baffled.

I love how 30 totally got the reverse impression of what 29 was saying, and just ran with it!

Anyway, nervous kid is nervous. He has a bomb. Read comic to find out more. Re-do job makes no sence tho, unless the issue is all about melons or summink.

-R

Tornado Ninja Fan #1

January 24, 2008 at 8:30 am

I guess its a computer coloring error. The artist put the picture of the melon over the bomb and forgot to make it transparent.

Tornado Ninja Fan #1

January 24, 2008 at 8:32 am

24. Sorry Dasbender, I noticed your post just after I hit “reply”

If he’s s’posed to be Che Guevara, then, Che was asthmatic, so combined with the beret and the title of the story (Raising Che I think somebody said) then that’s your explanation. As to the mystery of the inhaler. I think. Don’t quote me on that though. The new cover makes no sense. At all.

Kind of like my whole post (“makes no sense”). I stand by the inhaler thing though. I just no articulate it good.

Like I’ve always said, you show me an asthmatic, I’ll show you a fruit bomber!

Clearly DC is in the pocket of Big Asthma and bowed to pressure.

Did I misread DanCJ’s post? If so, I apologize. I haven’t been sleeping well lately, and my eyes are killing me. It’s a little hard to concentrate sometimes. If I went off on a misunderstanding, just ignore me.

“What I’m wondering is how the hell they got that bomb in that cantaloupe in the first place without ripping it to pieces. Did they organically grow it there?”

Damn you, Monsanto!

If this was the early 90’s they could have done a big gimmick cover where you could scratch away the melon to reveal a bomb.

Did I misread DanCJ’s post? If so, I apologize. I haven’t been sleeping well lately, and my eyes are killing me. It’s a little hard to concentrate sometimes. If I went off on a misunderstanding, just ignore me.

Yeah, I’m afraid you did.

Dan’s point was that the lyrics of the song was pointing out that carrying a gun to school was a BAD thing, but the censors wouldn’t let the lyric get by, even though it was an ANTI-gun message, just because it mentioned bringing guns to school period.

To quote Dave from Summer School:
“Anna Maria, we dedicate these cantaloupes to you!”

So stupid, yet they bust out more tit for a Catwoman cover. Hypocrites!

Che Guevara was asthmatic. That’s why the inhaler appears in the cover.

However, that doesn’t explain why it is featured so prominently, when just a little glimpse of the inhaler (perhaps showing from inside a pocket) would have been enough to make a succesful reference for those who knew that piece of information beforehand, thus avoiding confusion for those less familiar with the history of this controversial figure.

Dan (other Dan)

January 25, 2008 at 9:32 am

The Exterminators usually has really good covers. The Philip Bond cover to #20 with the roach throwing a grenade is my favorite. http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/203/101138_20070801204920_large.jpg

Did I misread DanCJ’s post? If so, I apologize. I haven’t been sleeping well lately, and my eyes are killing me. It’s a little hard to concentrate sometimes. If I went off on a misunderstanding, just ignore me.

That’s okay. Brian explained it better than I did.

Personally I immediately thought the inhaler was a trigger when I looked a cover – even though that probably doesn’t make sense for a bomb with a timer – unless the trigger starts the timer.

actually, dudes, you’ve got it backwards. the plain one WITHOUT the see-thru bomb melon was the original iteration. DC felt i needed to spoon-feed the concept to the readers a bit more, and add a see-thru effect to show the bomb…. and judging from the responses here, i guess they were right.

The Che Guevara resemblance was primarily to illustrate a larger plot point, about this kid falling in with a group of latin-power movement bombers who hit grocery stores, and some of the kid’s personal delusions therein.

The inhaler was to make the character more identifiable, since he’d aged a bit since we saw him as an asthmatic little boy, and several of his prominent earlier scenes involved him and his condition.

i dunno. i did like a hundred sketches for this thing and this is the one editorial told me to pursue. It’s several stages of change away from my initial concept, of a plain ol’ Che poster with him holding a melon, as a simple striking image of curiosity. i dunno. maybe it’s for the best. i’m impressed by the amount of pontification you guys have gone through with it, though.

cheers!
-T

Thanks for the info, Tony!

While I can’t say that I like the original cover, almost all my concerns with the cover were based on the idea that DC covered up the bomb, which just made no sense, so I’m glad that is not the case (in other words, having the bomb not visible is a lot more palatable of an idea if it is an artistic choice rather than editorial fiat – I might not agree with it, but it at least is understandable). Otherwise, I’d just go back to my original comment for the cover, which was something along the lines of “An odd cover by Tony Moore.”

Wow. Very interesting to get Moore’s actual word on this.

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