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Covers: Then, Now, Whenever

UnbrokenEvaUnbrokenEva HIGH ON THE WIREBUT I WON'T TRIP ITRegistered User regular
edited June 2015 in Graphic Violence
The previous comic covers thread was titled "Always Judge a Comic By One" which was both a wry twist on the old adage and true in a lot of ways. Comic covers may be notoriously dishonest, portraying events that almost never actually happen within the comic itself, but they are also how comics on a shelf stand out from competing titles, and how a company chooses to market a book matters, as it shows what they think of the title, or what they want customers to think of it.

I started thinking about this as I've been diving through Marvel Unlimited. I only started reading comics regularly about 4 years ago, jumping in with Journey Into Mystery, so I missed a lot of stuff from the decades before that. One of the things I missed, and was kinda grossed out to see when I looked up Ms. Marvel on Unlimited was the Greg Horn cheesecake covers of the 2000s. Good Lord. As I looked with sick fascination I noticed that he primarily drew covers for 3 series, and I thought it was really interesting that all 3 of those characters also had solo series in 2014. The contrast between the covers is dramatic, and I feel it does as good a job of anything I've seen to show how much the industry has changed in just 10 years.

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(The top-middle She-Hulk is by Mike Deodato instead of Horn, as Horn's work on Shulkie wasn't quite as bad as the rest for the most part, playful/silly cheesecake instead of straight up gross objectification)

So lets talk about covers. Favourite covers, covers you hate, whatever.

UnbrokenEva on

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    Bobby DerieBobby Derie Registered User regular
    A lot of comics these days don't have covers in the sense that they used to - covers used to be glossy stock, or even cardstock, while the insides were newsprint; nowadays most comics are glossy stock throughout and the cover is indistinguishable from the interior pages in terms of paper weight or finish.

    I also think that the direct market has, to a large extant, changed the possibilities inherent in covers. Most comics have gone very far away from the formatting that used to mark comics - title bar, framing, issue number, price, all that sort of stuff which made sense on a comic rack at a grocery store, so that casual readers could quickly identify series, characters, and other vital information.

    That's not to say it's gone - just look at the covers you posted, with the Marvel NOW banner at the bottom, or the Elektra title - or even necessarily a bad thing; but I think it does underscore some of the visual rhetoric of the comic cover.

    The Unpublishable - Original fiction blog, updates Fridays
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    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    This will probably always be my favorite comic cover of all time

    hi3jovd6edp1.jpg

    In fact, I love it so much I decided to make my own version with pen and ink stipple

    11412423_10153344433838279_3188482831533735582_n.jpg?oh=934470bed89b3aec9e2063a836e42bc6&oe=562BF12D

    10369730_10153344433858279_2157310803199804051_n.jpg?oh=f388de8ab5dc532a03c952448a53d6ac&oe=563527DC

    10154002_10153344433863279_8515160428170993579_n.jpg?oh=45670542eb65f8d396ae330b215d6a4b&oe=5629F5EC

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    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
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    UnbrokenEvaUnbrokenEva HIGH ON THE WIRE BUT I WON'T TRIP ITRegistered User regular
    I actually enjoy the seeming lack of "rules" when it comes to a lot of comic covers these days. Image in particular is a lot of fun because without any sort of "house style" informing how a cover should be laid out, each creative team is completely free to do whatever they want. This can be everything from The Wicked + The Divine's portrait covers, to Bitch Planet's fake exploitation movie posters. Even the comics that have basic comic came + creators over art covers are free to lay it out in their own way.

    and then there's Sex Criminals, with one of my favourite covers in recent years:

    sc5-2COVER_web.jpg

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    Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Also,

    ruh7gxfor8jh.jpeg

    I was like, Damn, that's a classy looking Joker, with a really weird chin and almost invisible smile, but classy nonetheless.

    Then I saw the Mignola and it all made sense.

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    Dizzy DDizzy D NetherlandsRegistered User regular
    The Greg Horn covers were especially terrible because the inside stories were so different. Emma Frost was the worst I can think off: Cheesecake covers on the outside, story about a 13-15 year old girl inside. I believe the covers on the later issues were more content appropriate, but that series felt really icky and turned a lot of people off. Similar disconnect there, though at least you didn't have the underage factor/cheesecake combo there.

    Anyway favourite covers:

    Wildcats 3.0 (this is the first, but the whole series had amazing covers. Covers which especially at the time were standing out from the other comics on the stand):

    Spoilered for big.
    EMlXP7e.jpg

    Steam/Origin: davydizzy
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    XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Also,

    ruh7gxfor8jh.jpeg

    I was like, Damn, that's a classy looking Joker, with a really weird chin and almost invisible smile, but classy nonetheless.

    Then I saw the Mignola and it all made sense.

    Damn, how did I never notice he did that cover?!

    I'd just assumed it was Aparo

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    Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    I'm becoming a little obsessed with early-career Mignola, when he was penciling for DC-his art was a lot busier and less angular, but it still has his uncanny sense of composition. I've picked up the Cosmic Odyssey miniseries he did with Starlin.
    2wd7cohfzdgt.jpg

    The shop near me has this thing he did with Howard Charykin called Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser which seems to be of a similar vintage. I'm probably gonna get it soon. But the layout and stylization is unmistakable and still in use in his current Hellboy in Hell stuff:
    Fafhrd-And-The-Gray-Mouser_004_Vol1990_Marvel_Epic_ComiClash.jpg

    Looking back, it's kind of impressive how reigned in he was on that Joker. Although that chin freaks me out. Probably has a skull that looks like Mac Tonight.

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    jkylefultonjkylefulton Squid...or Kid? NNID - majpellRegistered User regular
    I would absolutely recommend that Fafhrd / Gray Mouser HC - it is phenomenal Mignola work. You should also pick up Strange/Doom:Triumph and Torment (if you don't have it already).

    tOkYVT2.jpg
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    jkylefultonjkylefulton Squid...or Kid? NNID - majpellRegistered User regular
    Mignola also did some great fill-in art for the end of Byrne's Superman run, and did the art for the World of Krypton miniseries. If you like his Cosmic Odyssey stuff, you'll love the Superman/Krypton stuff.

    87worldofkrypton_c.jpg

    World_of_Krypton_v.2_2.jpg

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    26426-3825-29341-1-world-of-krypton.jpg

    tOkYVT2.jpg
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    NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    A couple covers I like. Not necessarily because I enjoy the book as an amalgamated product of writing and art, but because I enjoy the artwork put out by the artists that did them.


    I really like Jack Kirby's art. There's something about the simplicity of his figures that I really like.
    11305-2551-12541-1-kamandi-the-last-bo.jpg

    I also like Joe Kubert's art. Not just his comic art, I have a book he put out of his life drawing and it's great.
    kubertcover25.jpg

    I'm probably in the minority on the internet but I like Rob Liefeld's art as well. It's really not just Liefeld, but the art of a lot of the Image guys like Lee, Silvestri, and McFarlane I find enjoyable. For Liefeld specifically, I just find the ridiculous pouches, huge pauldrons, and muscular builds that would make an IFBB pro feel like a skinny nerd fun. And it actually gave me an idea for a "parody" of sorts of Liefeld's design idea of "more pouches, bigger muscles, EXTREME RADICAL" but playing it straight.
    XForce1.jpg

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    UnbrokenEvaUnbrokenEva HIGH ON THE WIRE BUT I WON'T TRIP ITRegistered User regular
    I'm just reading through Claremont's New Mutants now, and I know at some point it turns into X-Force after Liefeld takes over, but

    that's not Wolfbane on that cover is it? Tell me it's not.

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    Dizzy DDizzy D NetherlandsRegistered User regular
    Fearghaill wrote: »
    I'm just reading through Claremont's New Mutants now, and I know at some point it turns into X-Force after Liefeld takes over, but

    that's not Wolfbane on that cover is it? Tell me it's not.

    Nah, that's Feral.

    Steam/Origin: davydizzy
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    UnbrokenEvaUnbrokenEva HIGH ON THE WIRE BUT I WON'T TRIP ITRegistered User regular
    oh thank god

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    NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Fearghaill wrote: »
    I'm just reading through Claremont's New Mutants now, and I know at some point it turns into X-Force after Liefeld takes over, but

    that's not Wolfbane on that cover is it? Tell me it's not.

    I can see where the confusion was, one version of Wolfsbane seems to be almost identical to Feral.

    Edit: When you scroll down you can see both characters art next to each other.

    NSDFRand on
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    BankruptsteveBankruptsteve Registered User regular
    l9fz43oc4y59.jpg
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    Pretty much anything by David Mack or Bill Sienkiewicz. <3

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    BankruptsteveBankruptsteve Registered User regular
    David Mack posted a "stages of cover painting" thing on his facebook page. You should check it out.
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150291680646295.340152.21231086294&type=3

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