FOXHOLE #1 (1954)

Another cover which represents the change in depiction of the soldier in the years after WWII, this powerful image is deceptively complex. Placed in a scene of utter carnage, a soldier stoically contemplates what he's been through as he composes a benign note home which covers up the horror he's seen and the injuries he's sustained. Those who say that Kirby is incapable of subtlety should take a close look at this cover to see the incredible expressiveness the soldier, his face swathed in bandages, staring into the distance with his one good eye--beaten, but not broken by his experience. The composition is masterful: central image at page right so that we can absorb the letter home and the background action before his expression registers, and again the whole scene is silhouetted by a simple, flat background of red sky and billowing smoke. The story is heartbreaking and poignant, evocative and intriguing--enough to entreat almost anyone to take a look behind this incredible picture.