They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. While that might be true for prose, it’s not entirely true for comic books. Comic books are a visual medium and more times than not, it’s the art that draws you in. With so many comic books coming out these days, a cover that stands out from everything else on a wall of new releases can determine how well it sells. I know that I’ve picked up new titles solely based on the cover.
It is with that in mind that we bring you Face Value, a column where we will be looking at the best covers in comics, both new and old, every two weeks. For this month’s special edition, since it’s October, we’re getting spooky with a spotlight on Archie Comics’s horror line.
“Afterlife With Archie” #6 by Franceso Francavilla
This cover reminds me of an old movie monster movie poster with the lead not entirely sure of what’s right behind her but she knows she should be scared. The use of grey really works and is very different from what Francavilla usually does with color.
“Afterlife With Archie” #2 by Franceso Francavilla
This is pure terror. Zombified Jughead lurking in the distance as his best friend Archie tries to stay away. It’s not only a horrific looking image in the design but in the emotion as well.
“Jughead: The Hunger” #5 by Jamal Igle
Igle’s cover here is one of my favorites in the line because it’s really striking and does a great job teasing what we get here. We get a conflicted teenager who’s dealing with something dangerous and unknown and it lies beneath him in a way he can’t explain. The coloring is excellent and adds to that contrast very nicely.
“Jughead: The Hunger” One Shot by Franceso Francavilla
This is a little more straightforward as a cover with a werewolf but it still really works. Francavilla is so good at creating a setting and a mood and he can pull you in with very little. Why is Jughead a werewolf? He looks horrific so does that mean he loses total control as a werewolf? You want to read to find out. I know I did.
“Vampironica” #2 by Greg Smallwood
These books deal with teenagers so this is dangerously sexy. It reminds me of Heathers or The Craft in that sense. The look in Archie’s eyes is one we’ve seen plenty of times for Veronica in the past but this time, it’s clear there’s something more happening here thanks to the coloring choices. It’s really great and really works.
“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” #9 by Robert Hack
Robert Hack’s covers for “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” are honestly amazing and this is maybe my favorite of them all. The Madame Satan character was so gross and horrifying and I loved spending time looking at the design work. This cover is really great because it feels like an old paperback novel which is something Hack will come back to for covers in the series. It helped make the series stand out so much from other things and I really like the white and black contrast here.
“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” #2 by Robert Hack
One of my favorite things about this column is looking back at all the covers I’ve seen over the years and seeing which ones have kind of become iconic in their own ways. This is one of those. This has been the go to image for this series and it’s even influencing the promotional material for the television series. That’s the kind of thing I love to see.
“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” #5 by Robert Hack
Sabrina levitating with a broom while a pentagon and blood stand behind her. If that’s not going to make you read this then I don’t know what will.