Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): August 2014
A great comic book cover is an advertisement, a work of art, a statement, and an invitation. A great comic book cover is a glimpse of another world through a canvas no bigger than a window pane. In Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month), we look back over some of the most eye-catching, original and exceptional covers of the past month.
August offers a feast of shape and color, with striking covers by Scott Fischer, Victor Santos, Chrystin Garland, and Tula Lotay, some bold juxtaposition, and a quirky take on a pulp archetype or two — including a Nazi airship and some poor sap being held in a giant hand. It’s a classic!
Superior Foes of Spider-Man #14
There's a lot we'll miss about Superior Foes now that the series is officially cancelled, and that includes the covers, which made the most of the book's largely unsympathetic -- but very human -- cast, celebrating and deriding them with wit and style. This cover is a perfect example, and Anka's colors are perfect.
Lobster Johnson: Get The Lobster #5
I am a sucker for a clean line, a good angle, and a masked vigilante on a Nazi airship. Those are, like, three of my favorite things to see on a cover. How did they know? More masked vigilantes on Nazi airships, please.
Black Market #2
I have vague memories that juxtaposition was one of the first art principles I learned about at school, which makes it pretty fundamental -- and especially so on covers, where a single image has to communicate so much. Black Market is about a secret trade in superhero corpses, so this image very nicely balances the highs and lows of that concept -- without crossing over into grotesquery.
"Dude in giant hands" is one of those classic comic book cover standbys that goes back to the age of pulps, and Panosian has gone for an especially pulpy execution here, but steered well away from lazy composition. I love the way this is framed, and I could roll around in that cross-hatching. (Actually that might be painful.)
All-New X-Men #30
Angel has always been a bit of a drag as superheroes go -- wings, dude? Who cares? Even Aquaman can at least talk to fish. But dang, Stuart Immonen really knows how to make him as beautiful as he's meant to be, and the composition on this cover is appropriately majestic.
Bee And Puppycat #3
These characters could be total strangers to you as a reader and this would still be a beautiful image, but it's worth noting that this cover radiates exactly the sort of charm that fans of Bee And Puppycat have fallen in love with.
Angel & Faith Season 10 #5
I'm shocked to discover I've picked Angel & Faith for this feature two months in a row. Buffy comics are usually so hobbled by the need to honor actor likenesses that they rarely make the cut for me. But last month a Chris Samnee cover won me over, and this month it's a cover by book illustrator Scott Fischer, with a layered mixed media-style painted image that I couldn't resist.
Supreme Blue Rose #2
By contrast to the Buffy books, I suspect Supreme Blue Rose is going to be one of those books that could make my cut every month, because Tula Lotay's character portraits are stunning -- but picking the same books every month makes for a boring feature, so I try to hold those books to their own high standards. This one really speaks to me. Supreme Blue Rose #2, I choose you.
Fantasy comics need to make the most of their freedom to create extraordinary character design, and here's an excellent example of an impressive design getting a well-deserved showcase. I love the slightly queasy color palette on this cover almost as much as I love the monumental weight and presence of this guy.
You probably wouldn't know from the cover that this book is set in a dystopian future, but what this cover does offer is a glimpse of the lush beauty of Greg Tocchini's art. Yes, the interiors are just as impressive.
Bonus: Batman '66 #14
Variant cover by Joe Quinones (artist site)
Published by DC Comics
The art direction on DC's variant covers doesn't usually engage me, but the "selfie" covers have produced some fun images, and our own Chris Sims rightly singled out the Batman '66 selfie cover for praise. Because Robin is taking a selfie with a rotary phone. That's a pretty great way to meld the gimmick of the cover with the tone of the book. That's how across-the-line variants should work.