We look at comic covers and then we talk about them. Won’t you join us?
Wonder Woman #10
Brendan: I love this cover. The hard lines on the characters really give them some dimension. The background is simple yet very absorbing. I think the colors are really great and the half-smile on Wonder skull’s face is just enough to kind of creep you out. I have no complaints.
Dave: Pretty sweet pick. The green tint to Wonder Woman gives off a sickly feeling, the thick inks outlining her also make her pop effectively from everything else. The ripples in the water are also delectable. Delish.
Adventure Time #5 (D. Cover)
Dave: Oh man what isn’t there to like about this cover. We’ve got a Ren and Stimpy vibe going on with those smiles and the dirty filter over everything. The game system is having a ball as it dances the night away. And the super sad Ice King gives the cover just a tinge of the humor within.
Brendan: I’ve been hooked on Penny Arcade since I was in high school. I’ve watched Mike Krahulik evolve as an artist exponentially over the years. I really don’t think he could have made something like this cover ten years ago, with its fantastic shading, great coloring and unique but well-established figures. This cover is great because it captures the fun and humor of the television show in a single image. It also captures the evolution of an artist.
Brendan’s Honorable Mentions:
Batman Beyond Unlimited #5
Brendan: Get out of my heart, Dustin. I think I’ve already said this, but I can’t recall a single piece of art that has been created by Mr. Nguyen that I was not head over heel in love with. The silhouettes on silhouettes in this picture work incredibly well. The colors are incredibly vibrant and really set the futuristic tone for you. The far background is rich with detailed colors that you can’t even fathom at first look. It’s fantastic.
Dave: Enter chemistry 101 with Batman Beyond. Nice use of the red of the cape with the man firing the gun. The layering throughout, along with the raindrops, make a seemingly simple design much more complicated and technological.
Alabaster Wolves #3
Brendan: The portrait comes off as both elegant and gritty. The detail to the hair on both the girl and the beast is enough to sell me. There’s also some great shadowing going on and that drip of blood is just a perfect touch.
Dave: Is she wearing that Panther or is it eating her? The blood splatter is done quite nicely giving this cover a rather horrific feel.
Batwoman #10 (Variant Cover)
Brendan: I prefer this cover to the colored version. I think the art really sells itself better when presented in black and white. There’s a lot going on but none of it feels cluttered or busy. I dig it.
Dave: In the world of Batwoman it’s all window dressing. Looks like the story is coming to a conclusion and what better way than to remind the viewer in an interesting way all the demons she must battle.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5: Splinter
Brendan: I’ve always liked Splinter. This cover really captures the Zen behind our lovable heroes’ mentor and father. There are a lot of great little details all over this cover and Peterson has a talent of evoking the feel of the original character designs of the 1980’s Turtles comic.
Dave: From the patches to the hand me down mug you get a sense of the grime Splinter lives in, yet the aura of wisdom he still evokes. I’m not really sure why he needs to be so damn close to the candles though and that tail is definitely catching on fire in a few moments. Self immolation could be imminent.
Dave’s Honorable Mentions:
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger – Man In Black #1 (of 5)
Dave: The man in black appears to be turning into crows on a setting sun while Roland slowly gains on him. A very moody piece that leaves me speechless.
Brendan: “Moody” is the perfect word to describe this image. I love the painted feel to it (Did he paint this? He may have painted this). This is another example of a great piece of artwork that could just as easily hang on a wall rather than grace the front page of a comic book.
Dave: Nightwing fall down and go boom. Instead of a stereotypical reflection we get raindrops, blood in the water, a flash of a camera and a whole lot of angry faces. This cover is at once frightening and thrilling. Great stuff.
Brendan: It’s not often we get the “fallen hero” perspective from the view of the villain. It’s a nice change of pace. I like the cuts and bruising on Nightwing and his “oh shit” expression. His right eye is a little funky but I’ll let that slide.
Dave: Gotta love werewolves when they’re drawn this cool in a graffiti like fashion. The texture of the jeans, the look in the girls eyes as if she’s saying, “Yup this is my hairy man” and the torn leather jacket. Damn son I want to run with this gang.
Brendan: I think the colors put me off a bit too much. That werewolf looks like My Pet Monster (Google it, anyone under 30). And the girl’s head doesn’t really seem to be connected to her body. The details in texture are grade A, however.
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth: The Devil’s Engine #2
Dave: Oh mama, that is one big critter. The speed lines on the ground amplify the sense of drama to this ever more crushed bus/truck thing. I love the design of the creature and its relationship to the vehicle, and the beating sun adds to the pressure the driver is in. Oh yah, and if you look closely said driver is shitting bricks. Nice stuff.
Brendan: There’s a lot of action going on in this cover, which I love. Everything from the bug, to the sun, to the truck losing its traction with the road make for a dramatic piece.
Where we don’t understand, are insulted by or would rather stab our eyes with acid pops than look at these covers for various reasons.
Higher Earth #2
Dave: I like this cover due to the arrangement of figures and the neat smoke billowing off the dirt. The problem though here is…it’s a complete rip off of Total Recall!
Brendan: I don’t like how drastically the art style changes between the hard-lined woman in the foreground and the soft, almost painted, giant face in the background. This cover would be really great if there was anything other than that guy’s head blueing it up in the back.
Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison
Brendan:This cover landing in the WTF section has nothing to do with the great art by Mr. Wilkins. It entirely has to do with the HORRIBLE tagline written underneath Vader. Really? “Don’t mess with the man in black?” That is one of the most cringe-worthy “Try to be cool and fail” lines I have ever heard. Here’s my two cents. Vader is one of the most iconic badasses ever created. He doesn’t need bad word art. Just let Dave’s great artwork speak for itself.
Dave: Somebody hit play on Will Smith’s single Men in Black. Who does that line cater to by the way?
Brendan:Yeah Wolvie! You fuck up that brain!
Seriously, what is going on in this story that has caused such cerebral cover art? All in all the artwork is nice. The colors make sense and I suppose that’s how someone would look if they were tearing their way out of a gigantic frontal lobe. It just strikes me as weird a weird premise.
Dave: Mind control Brendan! Mind control! How many times does Wolverine need to be mind controlled before readers storm Marvel’s office and burn everything? Also… that is one goopy looking brain.
Dark Avengers #176
Dave: Please stop with the characters bursting from the cover motif. It’s a mockery of Giant Sized X-Men #1 and it’s lazy. On top of that Moonstone is drawn in such a boring way. Her face screams, “I have to take a dump.” What a lame cover.
Brendan: As someone who doesn’t read Dark Avengers, I have no idea who that little boy/girl that Moonstone seems to be kidnapping is. This cover almost seems like they didn’t have a complete image, so they simply photoshopped it on top the old cover. Seems pretty lazy.
Avengers Academy #32
Brendan: I had this complaint with a Voltron cover a while back. Sentinel, you are a robot. You should not be afraid of anything. I doubt your masters programmed in a “cowering” feature. Quit being such a wimp and (robotic)man up already.
Dave: Obviously the Sentinel is afraid of the golden shower raining down on him. Look at the background. It’s not even a shower, it’s a wave!
Dave: WTF is this comic about? This cover tells me nothing. The background characters also confuse things. I assume they are street actors bumming money on Hollywood Boulevard. So I guess this is a comic about a superhero who visits Hollywood who’s super famous and a possible BFF of Paris Hilton. Maybe she’ll get drunk and drive off Mulholland Drive! A horribly mangled cat lady in a car wreck would have been better than this.
Brendan: There really isn’t anything on this cover except for the sassy cat lady (if that’s your bag). I would like to give the artist props for blatantly throwing Superman on the cover with juuuuust enough of him flash-bulbed out to avoid a lawsuit. Good on ya, ya sneaky bastard.