Gus Ricca, born Gaspano Ignazio Ricca in 1906, was an accomplished magazine cover artist long before he came to work in comics for Harry A. Chesler, Marvel, and Fawcett among others. Ricca also became Chesler's art director in 1944. He usually took a symbolic, interpretive approach to the subjects of his cover work, as can be seen on his covers for the likes of Liberty Magazine, The Century Co., What's on the Air, and Colliers not to mention his cover for Dynamic Comics #11. Dynamic Comics #8 has another spectacularly creepy Gus Ricca cover — and the contents to match. There's a Dynamic Comics #8 (Chesler, 1944) CGC Apparent GD/VG 3.0 Slight (C-1) Off-white to white pages available in this week's 2021 June 27-28 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122126 session at Heritage Auctions.
Ricca's cover for Dynamic Comics #8 appears to be a symbolic interpretation of the horror of the Dynamic Man story in this issue. The villain of the tale is inexplicably called the Yellow Spot, even though he wears a dark blue costume with a skull symbol on his chest. In reality, he's more like a supernatural, evil version of Batman, who can turn into a bat at will, has a cave headquarters, and has "ancient witchcraft and black magic at his command." This evil Bat-man intends to plunge humanity back to the dark ages by stealing the brains of the world's top scientists.
The introduction of Yankee Doodle Jones and Dandy in this issue also seems to be a take on already-famous comic book characters (in this case, Captain America and Bucky) with a rather horrific twist. Rather shockingly, the super-soldier serum which gives Yankee Doodle Jones his powers is derived from the strength of veterans of World War I who were disabled in some way during that war. Called together by an eminent scientist, a group of veterans must give their lives to create the serum which transforms Yankee Doodle Jones. These veterans state as they agree to give up their lives, "Willingly, so that from us a protector of the American doctrines shall rise."
This is a very difficult comic to get in any grade. At the time of this writing, there are only 17 universal entries for Dynamic Comics #8 on the CGC Census. A spooky Gus Ricca cover with equally impactful contents behind it to match, there's a Dynamic Comics #8 (Chesler, 1944) CGC Apparent GD/VG 3.0 Slight (C-1) Off-white to white pages available in this week's 2021 June 27-28 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122126 session at Heritage Auctions.
Dynamic Comics #8 (Chesler, 1944) CGC FR/GD 1.5 Cream to off-white pages. Gerber "7" or "scarce." Hypodermic needle panels. Dan Hastings, Master Key, Echo, and Yankee Boy begin. Yankee Doodle Jones appearance. Gus Ricca Overstreet "classic" cover. CGC notes, "Cover detached." Overstreet 2020 GD 2.0 value = $890. CGC census 6/21: 3 in 1.5, 11 higher.