|Skid Solo art by John Vernon.|
Another reason that publishers of old liked to start stories on the cover is that they believed they held the attention of potential readers for longer than one single image would. And the longer it held their interest, the more likely they'd be to buy it.
As time went on, and the page count increased, it became less necessary to feature strips on the covers, and comics (particularly adventure comics) tended to prefer using one large image for impact. These days it'd perhaps be considered too juvenile for 2000AD or Striker to start a strip on the cover.
Here's a selection of British adventure comics from the past that regularly put strips on their covers. I've scanned several Tiger covers as that comic used cover strips more often than its stablemates.
What's your preference for adventure comics? One big representational image, or a story starting on the front cover?
|TV21 cover by Mike Noble.|
|Johnny Cougar cover by Sandy James.|
|Roy of the Rovers art by Yvonne Hutton.|
Lion, Tiger, Jag ©Rebellion.
Buddy © D.C. Thomson
Doctor Who ©BBC
Dan Dare © The Dan Dare Corporation