In Sheep's Clothing is a hi-fi audio bar in Los Angeles that, of course, has been closed due to COVID-19. In the meantime, the heads behind the operation shifted their mad cratedigger and curation skills to the Web with free playlists, an annotated guide to the bar's wonderful record collection, and features about music and vinyl culture. For example, they've just posted this wonderful gallery of reggae and dub album covers that feature the comic book art style that first became common in the mid-1970s. Of course, there's a Spotify playlist to accompany the article. (Listen at the bottom of this post).
From In Sheep's Clothing:
Often influenced by movies, early examples include rocksteady soundtrack classic Harder They Come (1972), which referenced Hollywood Westerns and Blaxploitation films, and Lee Scratch Perry's Kung Fu Meets the Dragon (1975) which referenced Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon (1973)[…]
With the foundation of cinema references set, an early version of the comic book style would emerge in 1976 again with Lee Scratch Perry on his now classic Super Ape. This cover is unique in that it actually included Marvel Comics-style lettering with comic book notations and arrows. "Scratch," with his endless creativity and playful sense of humor, became a champion for this new art style[…]
In the 80's, Greensleeves resident designer Tony McDermott would further popularize this playful, parody style of album cover with a slew of Scientist and Mad Professor records that referenced everything in pop culture from horror films and video games to sports.