Sunday, March 13, 2005

Judging Books By Their Covers

One of the differences between Marvel and DC that cuts in DC's favor, I believe, is the way that DC's covers are not strictly pin-ups. And they have not gone with Marvel's out decision to just let Greg Land draw everything (which is ESPECIALLY grating on Wolverine, where they let regular artist John Romita Jr. draw the first six issues, but NOW go to Land for the covers...weak).

Even when DC has guys like Brian Bolland and JG Jones do covers, their covers generally are connected to the contents of the books.

What this also allows us to do is to fairly accurately prejudge books at least partially based on their covers.

And prejudice is always fun, so let's take a look at the June DC Covers (courtesy of Hero Realm).

Not a great month for Superman covers, as seen first by this really odd Ed Benes cover for Superman.

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John Byrne follows that up by showing that he is now 0-2 in his second stint with Action Comics when it comes to making a strong cover. Which is really odd.

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This is particularly disappointing, as the very same month Byrne gives us this eye-catching cover for Blood of the Demon!

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Why does the Demon cover have so much style and flair to it, and the Action has almost none? What's up with that?

The following Tony Harris cover for Ex Machina sums up my feelings on Ex Machina right now.

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It is a well-made cover, but it looks a lot like previous covers of Ex Machina. There does not seem to be a whole lot of differentiation going on from issue to issue with this book. But there is still a lot of quality work put into the book, like with this Harris piece.

So yeah...was not one of the points of War Games to isolate Batman and make him a loner again? So a couple of months later, we get "Batman's Allies Secret Files." Doesn't make a lot of sense.

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And the cover is done by DC exclusive (so back off, Marvel!!!) Al Barrionuevo, who luckily is not the cover artist for the book he draws on a monthly basis. There we get Cliff Chiang, who gives us this attractive cover...

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If only Chiang could draw the inside of the book as well.

What is this? What is this? Could it be? Have my prayers been answered?

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It IS!


I was so worried we were not going to have any more of these.

Jeph Loeb is sure on a "really cool idea" kick recently, isn't he? He looks to keep it up with Bizarro World's Finest!

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Isn't that a neat cover?

Speaking of a neat cover, check out this piece by Carlos Pachecho.

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This cover is the kind of piece that gives me hope that this series will not be like Rebirth at all, and instead will be a fun, cool comic book.

Now, on to the really good stuff...the Morrison books (at least I am up front about it...hehe)!

First off, we have this striking Klarion cover.

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Next we have this even MORE striking Zatanna cover.

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Sook is amazing, isn't he?

And finally, the cover of the month, so far, in my estimation - the cover of the We3 trade...

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Feel free to share your June DC cover prejudices!


Blogger Joe Rice said...

How about this one?

To it, my reaction is, "Fucking disgusting. Thank you, talents I have liked in the past for giving me yet another reason to HATE mainstream comics."

3/13/2005 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger Lex said...

Aw crap... Joe saw it before I could make fun of him. And I had so many jokes too!

Anyway, I agree with Joe's assessment of that cover. I mean, jeez, she's like 14, isn't she?

3/13/2005 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

Ahh, but the cover to JLA:C #9 is grand. Giant rampaging G'Nort? How can you not love that?

3/13/2005 07:44:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Ah, superhero comics. Where it's OK to sexually objectify and exploit underage girls, as long as later on there's some kind of monster or something!

3/13/2005 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Eliot Johnson said...

The possibilities from that one make me very happy.

3/13/2005 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

I, too, am a little sick of Marvel's pin-up covers. At least the Spidey comics, with the exception of Ultimate, have stayed away from this.

But say what you want about Marvel, I still prefer it over DC. Sorry.

3/13/2005 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Lex said...


3/13/2005 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

You know what I miss on covers?

Words. When did the comic book powers that be decide that there fan-base was so completely illiterate that anything more than a title would overload their fragile synapses?

If you go to the grocery store and look at the toothpaste, it has a big logo and, in smaller print, some arguments as to why you should buy this product. Even movie teaser posters have some words on them. Why are comics straying from the proven busisiness model that (A) every other commerical product uses, and (B) was used back when comics sold more'n jack-shit.

3/14/2005 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

In the spirit of healthy debate, I'd just like to point out that, regardless of the interior of these comics, most of the covers you've provided could be considered pinups.

What's wrong with that, anyway? A great pinup might get me to pick up a book as easily as something that teased me about the story.

3/14/2005 02:16:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

That's the thing, though, Jim...when the covers of the books ARE basically pin-ups, they are pin-ups by the person who drew the interior of the book, giving you a real feel for what the inside of the book is going to be like.

Like the Pachecho cover, like the Irving cover, like the Sook cover, and especially like the Quietly cover, which manages, in a pin-up, to perfectly demonstrate the gist of We3.

Compare that to having Greg Land draw Wolverine on a cover of a book he doesn't even appear in...not a good comparison for Marvel...hehe.

3/14/2005 02:54:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...


The possibilities from that one make me very happy."


I missed a few covers, and that was most certainly one I did not mean to miss!

Good call in noting it, Eliot!

3/14/2005 02:55:00 AM  
Blogger Republic of Replicants said...

I tried commenting on this yesterday, but Damn Blogger wouldn't work with me...

Anyway, I really liked the Zatanna cover, too. Looking very much forward to the mini.

3/14/2005 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Joe, I don't suppose you'd be mollified to learn it's an alternate-reality Mary Marvel, and therefore might not be underage? To answer my own question: No.

Do like the Seven Soldiers covers, though. If I had money...

3/14/2005 05:23:00 PM  
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