No. 143 – Rule Britannia

Britannia image (right) courtesy Royal Ontario Museum, Canada

Prog 1213’s Nikolai Dante cover by Frazer Irving and Chris Blythe v Britannia [not necessarily this particular image], here realised by Reginald Norman “Rex” Woods (1903–1987)

2015 – Royal Mint strikes a new, definitive £2 coin

National icon Britannia, armed with a trident, shield and wearing a Corinthian helmet, came to be personified as a goddess under Roman rule of the province of Britannia in the 2nd century, although the British Isles were also known as early as the 4th century BC by the Attic Greek names of Prettanike or Brettaniai, from which Britannia derives.

After centuries of declining use, the Latin form was revived during the English Renaissance (late 15th–early 17th centuries) to evoke British national identity, although since then 2000 AD is far from the only publication where Britannia’s personification – or “comic” treatment, for that matter – has not always been treated with the conventional veneration [click on thumbnail for larger image]:

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No. 94 – The Mark of Dante

Prog 1068’s (1997) Nikolai Dante futuregraph by Simon Fraser v theatrical poster for The Mark of Zorro (1940), [artist unknown] starring Tyrone Power (1914–1958) as [Don] Diego [de la Vega, aka. Zorro*], Linda Darnell (1923–1965) as Lolita Quintero and Basil Rathbone (1892–1967) as Capt. Esteban Pasquale

Zorro first appeared in the serialised novel The Curse of Capistrano in All-Story Weekly (Grosset & Dunlap, 1919) by American pulp writer Johnston McCulley (1883–1958), and was originally intended to be a stand-alone story. The success of the film adaptation The Mark of Zorro (United Artists, 1920) starring Douglas Fairbanks (1883–1939), however, convinced McCulley to continue writing the character.

Comics trivia: this is the film that the young Bruce Wayne had just seen with his parents moments before they were murdered by Gotham City mugger Joe Chill.

*Spanish: “Fox”; appearing in works set in the township of Pueblo of Los Ángeles [El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles; Spanish: The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels; now Los Angeles] during the era of Spanish California (1769–1821)

No. 31 – Gone With the Wind

Prog 1131’s Nikolai Dante cover by Jason Brashill vs. Howard A. Terpning‘s classic poster for the 1967 re-release of Gone with the Wind (1939)

Although Terpning painted the finished poster, the design was conceived by freelance art director Tom Jung, who also conceived the posters for Star Wars (1977) and Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), the original theatrical poster for the latter employing a similar pose with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher (1956–2016)).

Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back poster by Roger Kastel (image ©20th Century Fox)

In-depth graphic design analysis of the 1967 Gone with the Wind poster at The Guardian

Art director Tom Jung also features in HoH No. 129
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