Archive for November, 2012
Adventure Time #10 (Dynamic Forces Exclusive) by JJ Harrison
I’ve recently come to have a strong appreciation for Adventure Time (I’m almost done with the first season), but I’ve always had a love for Totoro. This homage is simply perfect, for Finn & Jake do have a similar relationship to Satsuki & Mei with all the adventuring that takes place with their quirky friends. It’s simple, adorable, and Harrison’s tip of the hat to Miyazaki is well played.
Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #4 (Variant) by Bruce Timm
I swooned so hard when I saw this cover. Who isn’t a fan of Bruce Timm?? He just knows how to illustrate women, and his specialty is gorgeous crime fighters. I’m still kicking myself for missing out on the exclusive hardcover that came out earlier this year, but with this variant cover I can still enjoy his figures at a fraction of the cost. I can honestly say I’ve fallen hard for Laurie with this cover, all thanks to the majestic stylings of Bruce Timm.
Captain America & Black Widow #639 by Francesco Francavilla
This is my favorite cover of the week, hands down. As if it wasn’t action-packed enough with the Lizard tearing up the joint, the addition of Doc Ock’s tech definitely turns the insanity up to eleven. Francavilla blows my mind with this cover, making me excited to study every little detail and just bask in all its glory. The fact that Francavilla is also doing the interior art is the cherry on top, because I definitely want to see the events leading up to this cover unfold. The man is amazing, and this cover is all the proof you need.
Masks #1 by Jae Lee
They’re supposed to be the good guys, right? Lee’s eerie style works well with this crew, although I am a little disappointed that Zorro isn’t included. There’s that strange fellow dangling in the back, and could be Zorro’s whip I guess, but I feel we’re still one fancy hat short of the Pulp Justice League. The whites of their eyes add to the creepiness, as well as their slanted composure. Very well executed cover, and does a great job setting the tone of the title.
Uncanny Avengers #2 by John Cassaday
This has been their promo image for the longest time, and now that it’s in its entirety, I can say I honestly dig it. Then again, I could have just been hypnotized to say that (I am a bit of a sucker for these types of formats). The Red Skull looks menacing, and if you stare at his nose long enough, the rings to start to move. Again, I had to crop the stupid MARVEL NOW! REVOLUTION EXTRAVAGANZA banner from the bottom, but it doesn’t interrupt the striking red and white motif. Overall, nice cover.
As most of you know, I write for Bleeding Cool. This week, I was given the opportunity to review the Liō: There’s a Monster in My Socks graphic novel collection from Andrews McMeel Publishing‘s AMP! Comics for Kids line of comic stories targeting younger readers. So enjoy at the link below!
The Shadow #8 (Variant) by Tim Bradstreet
Remember that hilarious film of the same name a while back starring Alec Baldwin? Yeah, let’s forget about that movie and focus on this awesome cover instead! It reminds me of an old pulpy movie poster, with the nice effect of folds and creases as if it were plucked from a magazine and well-loved over the years. The cross hatching is wonderful, as well as the simple black, white, and red all over color choices. I’d definitely see this movie. Who should star in the remake? I nominate Jon Hamm. Or Michael Fassbender.
Fables #123 by Joao Ruas
I don’t know why, but I feel like I’ve seen these kinds of faces before in another medium. Pan’s Labyrinth maybe? Anyway, the smooth and marble-like texture in their faces makes me feel chilly just looking at them. Then looking into their dark eyes makes me feel somewhat calm, as if I know they’re the good guys or something (probably just lulling me into a false sense of security). Very simple design, and in this case that’s all it takes to catch my eye.
Batwoman #14 by J.H. Williams III
Possible crossover with Jonah Hex?? Entirely possible by the looks of the Stetson, and radical redesign of the Confederate flag. However, if it is Hex back from the dead, that just proves how much of a badass he really is; a sonuvabitch so crazy, the Devil himself kicked him out of Hell. But what’s with the Medusa figure in his silhouette? Is she controlling this dead man, only to make matters even more complicated for Batwoman & Wonder Woman? It’s an enticing cover, and does a good job getting me all antsy to find out if it in fact is Jonah Hex or not. Then again, if it is, Williams III and Blackman are going to have to do a damn good job keeping him as entertaining like Palmiotti & Gray have all these years. Pretty cover, whatever the actual story may be.
Comeback #1 by Michael Walsh
Anyone else fooled for a second, thinking it was Tonci Zonjic? I certainly was. I mean, the style looks almost identical to Zonjic, so I don’t feel bad mistaking the stylings of Mr. Walsh with another great artist in this medium. Can you guess which one of these shades of blue is actually an x-ray machine? It’s the TSA variant cover, I believe. I definitely like how there’s something slightly altered in each of the shades, but the skeleton definitely draws the eye to that second shade in particular. I also enjoy how my brain could make out the title of the comic, despite the ‘back’ being backwards. MY BRAIN IS ON IT’S A-GAME TODAY, FELLAS (just like Michael Walsh is with this cover)!
The Unwritten #43 by Yuko Shimizu
Speaking of beautiful shades of blue, have I introduced you to my favorite cover of the week (hands down)? Because Shimizu definitely deserves that top honor this week, with this magnificently gorgeous cover. That brilliant shade of blue pigmentation of the hands, combined with the darker blue frilly cloth, and lighter outlines all around. Even on the main character’s face you can see reflections of blue, with even the air bubbles around him also contributing to the overall illustration. Eiffel 65 comes to mind when looking at this cover. Calm-yet-eerie, this cover is absolutely superb in every way. I would proudly hang it in my room if it were made available as a poster.
Hellblazer #297 by Simon Bisley
One of the things I’ll miss the most about this series will be the Simon Bisley covers. He has that perfect combination of punk rock and magic needed when it comes to a character like Constantine, and I always get excited in anticipation when his illustrations are the first things I see before flipping to the story inside. I especially love the spiky, thick hairs in this cover, but at the same time I laugh because I can imagine those would be a bitch to try and shave. The Oi-Oi-Oi Fairy is wonderfully executed as well, and I’m definitely a fan of those symmetrical skulls on her wings. This cover is like Constantine’s eye; radical looking.
Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation Squared #7 by J.K. Woodward
Explosions! Federation versus Borg! Police Public Call Box! Wait a minute, one of these things is definitely not like the other. While there is a breathtaking battle commencing in the background, I can’t help but chuckle at the TARDIS going about its business front and center. The least threatening looking vehicle in the galaxy, and yet it might as well be a cheerleader at this point in time. JK Woodward does another phenomenal job merging these two classic franchises together as one, having them act synonymously like Oreos and peanut butter (seriously, it’s like God came in your mouth). JK lost everything in Hurricane Sandy, so if you like his work and really want to help him and his family out, why not purchase some wonderful prints from his site?
The Boys #72 by Darick Robertson
Alas, all good things must come to an end. It may have been #1 at Dynamite, but it was #2 in my heart. The message I’m getting from this cover is the same one that Ennis has brazenly been telling for the past 72 issues; superheroes are shit (or “shyte” depending on your dialect). It’s that message that had Paul Levitz foaming at the mouth, and kick the series to the curb all those many years ago. Whether or not you were a fan of the story and raunchy humor, it was indeed another Garth Ennis classic. One I was fond of month after month. Robertson’s final cover is totally appropriate and totally hilarious at the same time. Now let us come together and flush one last time. Goodnight, sweet prince.
Locke & Key: Omega #1 (Subscription Cover) by Shane Leonard
Yes, those keys actually exist. I get a collector’s erection just imagining them all framed on a wall like insects, with classifications of each key underneath. IMAGINE WHAT AN ONGOING TELEVISION SHOW COULD HAVE BEEN! Sorry, I still get upset thinking about it. Love the Instagram filter applied to it as well.
Thor: God of Thunder #1 by Esad Ribic
This is my favorite cover of the week, hands down. First things first, I had to crop the Marvel NOW! banner from the bottom of the image. First it was DC’s fuckin’ ARROW banners, now it’s Marvel’s NOW! banners. Will comic companies please stop ruining aesthetically pleasing art and design with banners? Save it for the inside content. Back to the beautiful; it’s Esad Ribic at his finest, with that gorgeous channeling of Frazetta with the god of thunder. Look at those veins! Look at that cape! Of Esad’s two styles, I definitely love this painted one more. It’s what made me fall in love with his art in the first place. This cover has me drooling for more, and it’s only a page flip away. Well done as always, Mr. Ribic.
Daredevil: End of Days #2 (Variant) by David Mack
This is, without a doubt, an absolutely beautiful variant cover. This is art, and as I’ve said of Mack’s work multiple times before, “it belongs in a museum!” The devil of dare slowly emerging from the murky darkness, with an almost glowing aura about him sends slight shivers down my spine. More variant covers need to be like this; illustrated with paints instead of inks. Perhaps for the variant of this variant, Mack uses glow-in-the-dark paints to make things even more interesting.
Fairest #9 by Adam Hughes
In the wise words of George Takei, “Oh my!” Honestly, this has to be one of the more titillating covers of this series from Mr. Hughes. I think it might be the foxy lady’s look of pure ecstasy that really revs my engine, followed by the traditional Japanese kimono and nothing but Rapunzel’s long flowing hair. This cover embodies the word ‘sexy,’ and probably is the sexiest cover of the year so far. My pants are haunted!
The Shadow #7 (Cover B) by Darwyn Cooke
With a creator like Cooke, I always have fun imagining how the conversation goes down between him and whatever company he’s doing a cover for;
“Hey Darwyn? It’s Dynamite.”
“Hey Dynamite, what’s shakin’?”
“Well, we know you’re probably extremely busy with Before Watchmen and Parker, but we were wondering, if you had just a few hours, if you could do us a favor and produce a variant cover for The Shadow?”
“I don’t know, I have a little free time, but the cover would probably just be inks and water colors.”
“We’ll give you a crap-ton of money.”
And the result is what you see before you. He makes it seem so easy while keeping it relatively simple. There’s a reason he’s considered a modern day master in this industry.
Avengers Academy #39 by Giuseppe Camuncoli
This cover made me sad. It’s the final issue of this wonderful series (that originally started as Avengers: The Initiative), and to come to grips that all good things must come to an end, this is the most appropriate of coves to go out with. They’re no more. They have ceased to be. They’re pining for the fjords. Maybe someday Christos Gage will come back with Avengers Community College and once again steal my heart.
The Manhattan Projects #7 by Jonathan Hickman
This is my favorite cover of the week, hands down. Hickman’s instantly recognizable circles work wonderfully with this cover, since the subject matter in this case is space (the final frontier). Trajectories have never looked so beautiful, and everything from the starry night to the color wheel-esque center screams “Sci-Fi magnificence” to me. I can definitely see this as the cover to the second volume.
Fifty Shades of Green…and Tentacles (Now a New York Times Best-Seller!). Sean Phillips does a marvelous job setting-up a creepy tone with this cover. The color choices alone are spectacular, for the red jacket really pops on the green background, but those shadows are so sinister, that it keeps you on the edge of your seat in anticipation. Phillips leaves no space wasted, and for that I applaud his consistent diligence.
Higher Earth #6 by Garry Brown
When I look at this cover, I get pumped-up and ready to ROCK! Lightning bolts make everything that much more radical, and the sound waves emitting from Earth make it appear that our upside-down planet is a mere beacon of cool. Brown knows I’m a sucker for his color schemes, and this cover in particular does a fantastic job in capturing my attention as I slowly dissect each layer according to color. This is a poster I’d proudly display on my wall, for it’s a great conversation piece.
The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #3 by Chris Samnee
This is my favorite cover of the week, hands down! At first glance it appeared that there was a dinosaur in the helmet’s reflection. Big deal, seen it before, yada yada yada. But upon closer inspection, Samnee has brilliantly incorporated a pterodactyl perfectly parallel to the helmet’s design. Mind = blown. I get excited looking at this cover, for while seemingly simple, the execution is marvelous. The eye widened in terror is the cherry on top. A job well done, Mr. Samnee! This is the cover you use for the eventual collected edition.
30 Days of Night #11 by Christopher Mitten
There have been scientific studies that show the colors red and yellow cause you to feel hungry. Hence, why McDonalds is so popular with their huge golden arches. I think I might have been hungry as well this week when picking covers, for this color scheme is the same as the Higher Earth cover. The design is different obviously, but this epiphany on what colors I prefer in my covers has me rethinking my life…or at least the notion that I should eat something before choosing next time. Back to this wonderful cover, I really like the collection of smoky skulls hovering above the unnerving toothy grin. Splattering effects tickle me pink, and when done well like Mitten has demonstrated with this cover, I instantly crave more of his art.
Haunt #27 by Nathan Fox
Man, I hate it when a giant purple veiny hand grabs ahold of me when I’m out for a stroll! The nerve(s) of that hand! When viewing a cover like this one, I just get the sense that Fox had a blast creating it, and just went wild with the background swirls and twirls of both veins and colors. I feel slightly patriotic when looking at it (‘MURICA!). And for whatever reason, the solid green individual just works for me, for he’s the only object that hasn’t been molested by veins or other colors. It’s obvious our attention is being drawn to his fate, and he might just have to pay the piper from the looks of things.
Whispers #4 by Joshua Luna
These Before Watchmen crossovers are just getting out of control now.