What does this cover have to do with Black History Month?
|Art by Ross Andru & John Romita|
Quite a lot, as you'll see when you read the tale that hid behind it...
The short story this comic tale is based upon first appeared in the ground-breaking 1960s anthology Dangerous Visions, a collection of original novelettes and novellas conceived and edited by Harlan Ellison, which should be on any science fiction fan's bookshelf or eReader.
Several of the stories in the anthology, in particular this one and "Riders of the Purple Wage" by Phillip Jose Farmer, explored the subject of racial prejudice.
The comic adaptation from the first issue of Marvel's short-lived anthology Worlds Unknown, is scripted by Gerry Conway and illustrated by Ralph Reese, who began in 1966 as an assistant to Wally Wood and went solo within a couple of years, first as an inker, and later as a penciler/inker.
He's done work for all the major comics companies (usually on their anthology titles), as well as stints on the Flash Gordon newspaper strip and licensing art for Childrens' Television Workshop!
BTW, the Grand Comics Database lists John Romita as sole artist of the cover, but, IMHO, the figure poses are clearly Ross Andru, not Romita.
(And the GCD originally listed Marie Severin and Sal Buscema as the artists!)
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(where the prose version of this tale first appeared!)