Writing Cover Stories

Most readers think that a writer will write a story and the editor likes it so much he will ask an artist to render a cover based on the story. It does work like that sometimes, but in my experience with Warren publishing (Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella) it rarely happened that way. The way it did work is, I would be called into JIM WARREN’S office where he would hand me a photo of a cover, which had already been completed by an artist, and I would be asked to pen a story based on the cover. RICH SALA recently asked me to do a story based on a BASIL GOGOS cover called “Violins”. By coincidence I had a story all set to go and, with a few minor alterations, it fit the cover very well.
When I worked as editor for the DC Comics Digests the situation was different. The stories for the digests were reprinted from older books, already published, and so I would call in an artist, like the late, great GIL KANE and show him a finished story and ask him to render a cover based on the story.
Either way, it was considered a great honor to have a cover based on one of the tale you had written.

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