In the world of covers this week, we have four of my most regular of regulars and one newcomer to the list. What made it? Find out below.
5. The Activity #11
Art by Mitch Gerads
I really, really love Mitch’s covers for The Activity (hey Mitch!). He’s been a regular throughout, and I don’t want to go on for the usual reasons (being that I just love the central design concept – a unique image above the pistol and global design below. It’s eye catching for the typical reasons, but I just love the dichotomy of the top image. A special forces member making a move but being distracted by the natural phenomenon of a horde (that’s right, a horde) of butterflies making their move at the same time. It’s a remarkable image, and something that likely has a lot of meaning to it, while certainly having significant beauty and remarkable contrast. He didn’t make my list last year for Best Cover Artist, but he’s certainly someone who deserves more attention for his work.
4. Masters of the Universe: Origin of He Man #1
Art by Ben Oliver
Ben Oliver is an artist I’ve been a fan of, even though his style is not traditionally something I really respond to. I’d never seen any covers from him before, but if this is any indication, holy crap, this guy has a hell of a future as a cover artist. I love the usage of white space to focus us on the central image of He Man seeing himself in the reflection of the weapon. It’s a simple image, but one that speaks volumes as to He Man is as a character. Given that this is, in fact, the origin of He Man, it’s about as spot on of a cover as you can get.
3. The Unwritten #45
Art by Yuko Shimizu
Ho hum. Another spectacular Yuko Shimizu cover. I want to highlight two things about this cover, one good, one bad.
1. Yuko’s color palette always feels richer and completely unique compared to everyone else. She manages to convey a vibrancy on her covers that very few others approach, and she always pushes herself in different and interesting directions.
2. DC hates fans of covers. Covers are individual pieces of art that express the entire book they cover. Yet DC insists on ruining covers over and over with ads. Why must we be forsaken?!
2. Hawkeye #7
Art by Dave Aja
Somehow, Dave Aja’s covers have not really been highlighted here so far for “Hawkeye.” Maybe because the book’s schedule was heavy during a time where I was on sabbatical while running 2012 in Review, but either way, I haven’t given him a lot of love. That ends now, as this cover, like all of his, are completely unlike anyone else’s. Simultaneously unique from a design standpoint and pitch perfect from a storytelling one, Aja is creating covers that, like Yuko Shimizu, look completely unlike anyone else’s. Some would say that isn’t good – you want a comic cover to look like a comic cover – but to me, I want covers to stand out. I’ve bought books simply because I look at the cover and say, “whoa?! What is this?!” Colder #1 from Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra, for example. Every cover Aja does is just that, and Hawkeye has been him at his apex. Plus, it helps that this book is just flat out amazing.
1. X-Men Legacy #5
Art by Mike Del Mundo
If I was a voting member of the Eisner Awards, 2013’s cover artists of the year might be locked in already: Mike Del Mundo is just absolutely crushing it on Legacy (and on Deadpool Killustrated, but that is neither here nor there). This cover is such an incredible and powerful image, but where it really becomes special is the storytelling and hilarity of having all of those minds and personalities in his head right where his giant, ridiculous hair is. It is so simple and so ingenuous that when I looked at it the first time, I actually laughed. I just laughed because I couldn’t believe how great it was. Del Mundo and X-Men Legacy is the perfect marriage of artist and title, and man, I can’t even wait to talk about him next month…because frankly, that one is even better.