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solid writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 3
total score 8
Skull Comics #2
Variations Page
Print Variations

Back Cover
Indicia Page
(click for larger image)

Back Cover
Back Cover
(click for larger image)

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Slow Death
1st Printing / September 1970 / 36 pages / Last Gasp Eco-Funnies
Legendary underground series inspired by the EC horror comics of the '50s. Features three extended stories from Greg Irons (who also edited the book), Richard Corben and Jack Jackson. Gilbert Shelton provided the motorcycling skull-head art on the front cover, while Dave Sheridan also makes a couple cameo appearances.
There are reportedly six printings of this comic book, all by Last Gasp and all with 50-cent cover prices. I have reason to believe there are at least seven printings. Determining the printings is currently done by differentiating between the addresses printed in the indicia on the inside front cover and the addresses on the back cover. I have seen seven different combinations of these addresses.
Fortunately, there's little doubt about the first three printings of the book. The new version that I've found is most likely the 4th printing, and what was previously thought to be the 4th printing is actually the 6th printing.
The "Print Variations" link in the right sidebar shows all seven of the printings with the different address variations. I personally own three 1sts, one 3rd, two "new" printings and one of the last printings (previously identified as the 6th, now believed to be the 7th). Rather than spell out each of the printings here, it's much easier to let the "Print Variations" page visually show the variations as I describe them.
One of the rules of printing is that it's possible to add or subtract information on existing printing plates by blocking or scratching, but when the artwork itself changes in a significant way, it requires a new plate. Most of the changes that occured in the various print editions could have been accomplished without making a brand new plate, but I expect it became necessary to make some new plates along the way. By studying the progression of partial changes, it is possible to determine the order of the printings. Through this analysis, it seems clear that the new printing I've discovered (and many people own) is the 4th printing, and that the currently accepted 4th printing had to have taken place after the 5th printing.
To some degree, all of this detailed analysis is making a mountain out of a molehill, since all of the later printings would have approximately the same historical and collectible value. And the first three printings, originally identified in Kennedy's Price Guide, remain the same. The 1st printing had 20,000 copies and all subsequent printings had 10,000 copies.
Greg Irons - editor, 11-23, 36
Gilbert Shelton - 1
Dave Sheridan - 2, 35
Richard V. Corben - 3-10
Jack Jackson - 24-34

Skull Comics 2 3rd spacer10 Skull Comics 2 5th spacer10 Skull Comics 2 7th
3rd Printing
"Post Office Box 212" on inside and back covers.
4th Printing
Blocked out address on back cover, glitch on "P."
7th Printing
New address type on back cover.