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!
Rascal, the savvy young heroine of Antony Johnston and Christ Mitten’s Umbral, is a thief with both feet planted firmly in the muck. She lives by her dexterous fingers, her knowledge of the city’s side streets, and an arsenal of four-letter words for anyone who stands in her way. Whispers of myth and monsters at the fringes of her world fail to turn Rascal’s head—in fact, she fears and loathes magic and its practitioners. Too bad she’s the heroine of a fantasy story.
Over the course of its first volume from Image Comics, Umbral creates a world rich with ethnic conflict, class struggle, human emotion and totally wicked looking monsters. A cast of scholars, refugees, thieves, and magicians populates its pages, simmering with glimpsed backstories and murky intentions. At its heart is Rascal, staring down a grand destiny she never wanted. As the first volume hits the shelves, ComicsAlliance spoke with Johnston and Mitten about fantasy tropes, developing character voices, and the importance of The Dark Crystal.
Formally announced at Image Expo last month, Umbral is the new dark fantasy series by Antony Johnson (Coldest City, Dead Space, Daredevil) and Christopher Mitten (Criminal Macabre, Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight) launching in November. The pair previously worked together on a 30-issue stint of Wasteland, an post-apocalyptic epic for Oni Press (that continues long after Mitten's departure), and knowing something about the work of these two creators, it's likely that Umbral is similarly ambitious in scope, world-building and genre-tweaking.
What's known about Umbral is presently as shadowy as its name, but it definitely involves magic and murder. You can see Johnston and Mitten's specially prepared "trailer" strip below.
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