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The Best Comic Book Cover Artists of 2013: Part One

Best Comic Book Cover Artists 2013, Part One
A beautiful or striking cover is always the work of someone who is both a smart designer and a gifted artist. Comic cover artists need to know how to use what little space they have to not only make an impression but also hint at a compelling story.

In these final weeks of 2013, ComicsAlliance is going to look back at our picks of the best cover artists working in comics today with a small selection of each of their covers. This week we showcase the work of Brian Churilla (Blackacre), Adam Hughes (Fairest), Mahmud A. Asrar (Supergirl) and Declan Shalvey (Winter Soldier.)

BRIAN CHURILLA on BLACKACRE (Image Comics)

BlackAcre, by Duffy Boudreau and Wendell Cavalcanti, is the story of a security officer leaving the safety of his gated community to venture into a post-apocalyptic wilderness. Brian Churilla’s covers present the contrast of those two worlds with striking use of negative space and eye-popping color — though the cover to issue #8 took a different and no less effective approach.

Blackacre #3, cover by Brian Churilla
Blackacre #5, cover by Brian Churilla
Blackacre #8, cover by Brian Churilla

MAHMUD A. ASRAR on SUPERGIRL (DC) and INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK (Marvel)

Mahmud A. Asrar is another artist who uses contrast to compelling effect in both his use of color and his use of space — but there’s also a sense of geometric precision to his work. It’s there not just in the diagrams that form the backdrop to his Indestructible Hulk cover, but also in the shadows of Supergirl’s cape in one cover and the lines of the cut-out that forms her face on another.

Supergirl #21, cover by Mahmud A. Asrar
Indestructible Hulk #17, cover by Mahmud A. Asrar
Supergirl #24, cover by Mahmud A. Asrar

 

ADAM HUGHES on FAIREST (DC Vertigo)

It’s never a surprise to see Adam Hughes’s name on a list of best covers of the year, but with Fairest he landed the perfect gig for his talents, and he keeps finding new ways to impress. We all know he can draw a beautiful woman; Fairest also allows him to capture an exquisite mood, a spirit of adventure, or a sinister nightmare, all with equal aplomb.

Fairest #14, cover by Adam Hughes
Fairest #16, cover by Adam Hughes
Fairest #17, cover by Adam Hughes

 

DECLAN SHALVEY on WINTER SOLDIER, VENOM and DEADPOOL (Marvel)

2013 was the year Declan Shalvey established himself as one of the best cover artists working today. His covers create bold shapes with a beautiful line, whether it’s in the propaganda abstraction of a Winter Soldier cover, the cold menace of Venom squatting on his web above the city, or the Chaykin-esque figure-work of Deadpool, Wolverine and Captain America fighting side by side.

Winter Soldier #16, cover by Declan Shalvey
Venom #37, cover by Declan Shalvey
Deadpool #15, cover by Declan Shalvey

We’ll have more picks of the best cover artists of 2013 next week, and throughout December.

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