Best Comic Book Covers Ever (This Month): September 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.
September's covers include masterclass composition from Genndy Tarkakovsky and Noelle Stevenson, some beautiful uses of light, color, and contrast, and some very different portraits of gods, old and new.
Pascal Campion excels at infusing his work with a wonderful warmth that immediately elevates scenes of emotion and tenderness. Somehow it also works for a scene of a raccoon firing a gun amid a barrage of missiles. Pascal Campion is really that good.
Kevin Wada's glamorous high fashion studies are a great match for the fast-burning young celebrity gods of The Wicked & The Divine. Wada can make anything and anyone look great, but this is a perfect marriage of style and substance.
A very neat high-concept take on Elektra's history as both assassin and dancer, with the stance, the spotight, and the roses scattered across the corpses turning the scene of carnage into a theater stage. Mike Del Mundo is one of the canniest cover artists in the business, and he really know how to sell an idea.
There were four great covers for this final issue of (this version of) Thor; one from series artist Esad Ribic, one from Simon Bisley, and one from Milo Manara, who does great work, and also sometimes does appropriate work. None of those three tickled me as much as this amazing over-the-top portrait of old King Thor by R.M. Guera.
The composition and title treatment say "comic book cover", but the image by Gabriel Iumazark looks to me like something I'd find on a 60s sci-fi novel cover at a flea sale. I consider that pretty high praise, because those old book covers are goddamn treasures.
I think I've written before about Red Sonja's hair, and especially Jenny Frison's exemplary use of that splash of bright red on her covers, but it's worth repeating. Frison's covers are always beautifully colored to make Sonja's hair as instantly iconic and recognizable as Superman's shield.
I love the composition on this piece. The black horse takes up almost half the available real estate, yet it doesn't throw off the balance or diminish the other characters, because the rich variety of colors, shapes, and textures compel the eye to keep exploring the page.
I could have done another 'who wore it best' this month, as both Sex and The Wicked And The Divine have "guy one way, woman the other way" flippable covers -- but the execution couldn't be much more different. Where Wada's cover was lavish, this one manages to turn warm colors cold with its monolithic and divisive title treatment and 80s power style.
Another example of awesome composition, this time simultaneously showcasing the character, personality, and style of the Lumberjanes cast while also creating a visual unity among them. All team shots should be this beautifully put together.
We saw a similar use of a white figure isolated in space on a Silver Surfer cover from Francesco Francavilla not so long ago -- but that cover was about controlled isolation. This one is about being adrift. It's framed very differently, but it's just as effective.