Sunday, July 21, 2013

Comic Covers Sunday: Neil the Horse

Created in the 70's, Neil the horse is a happy, singing and dancing horse who likes bananas and milkshakes. Neil's adventures were syndicated in Canadian newspapers, published in a comic book series, and adapted for a radio musical.  The comic book series featured Neil and his friends Soapy the Cat and Mam'selle Poupée. All three of the characters sing, dance, and play music.

Don't let the sappy intro text fool you.  Yes, the characters like to sing and dance but the cat is as foul mouth'd and dirty as they come.  The series was never adult nor childish enough to be a huge hit so it didn't last long.  But the art is stunning and worth the price alone.

Neil the Horse #1, February 1983
Saba did something with his covers that few have ever managed to do, he made them fun and adult at the same time.  There's a certain amount of childish glee when you see a spaghetti legged horse and a certain amount of "something's not quite right" when the cat is smoking a cigarette.

Neil the Horse #2, April 1983
Think this cover was in reference to the movie Singing In The Rain?  I do

Neil the Horse #3, June 1983
This cover always evokes a certain sense of melancoly when I look at it.  Neil is obviously happy, but if Mam'selle Poupée is happy then why don't we see her face?  I think cover is great because it can be what you want it to be, happy or sad.
Neil the Horse #5, November 1983
I'm trying to place this cover in historical significance but I can't see to do it.  It isn't that the cover itself is historical but I get the feeling that it's an homage to some older piece of work.
Neil the Horse #5,  April 1984
If there was any doubt that Saba loved Musical Comedy, then this cover should remove all doubt.  The composition of the silhouetted figures is just outstanding.

That's all for today, now go out and enjoy the day!

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