A computer crash that I still haven’t been able to get fixed has resulted in my not being as thorough this time around as I would’ve liked. I hope you’ll let me know if there were any really good indie or GN covers I missed.
DETECTIVE COMICS #33
This is a fantastic composition. Shape of the gun and position of the figures inside already does a solid job of leading the eye from upper left to lower right, but the shifting color also helps. My one nitpick would be that the bullets at the lower left establish a ground plane that makes it seem like the gun is being fired into the ground, which I don’t think was the intent.
SECRET AVENGERS #5
This is an interesting contrast of fun and quirk (the goat, and the videogame-esque composition) and dark (the blood and chalk outline). I like the exclamation point and question mark, but I’m not sure I follow what the other face balloons are trying to express (if they’re expressing anything?).
This is a nice image, but after issue one had so many different covers of just the main character, I find myself automatically assuming I’m looking at another variant before spotting the issue number. This cover is also a great example of demonstrating flow (good and bad). The top sword does a good job of leading our eye to the logo, but then the bottom sword leads us from the logo off to whatever cover is sitting to the left of this book (and it doesn’t help that the bottom sword is brighter than the top one). One of the challenges of creating a well-designed illustration is try to figure out a way to keep the viewer’s eye bouncing around within in the image.
ALL-NEW X-FACTOR #11
I’ve been loving all the All-New X-Factor covers, so I’m going to be a little more critical of this one. After the previous issue had several characters shown full-figure, I think it would’ve been good to keep changing it up. In particular, this image would be a lot more powerful if it was a close-up that only showed the gun and the character’s head (with the words “You have five minutes to comply.”) I feel like going full-figure not only removes the impact, but the pose of the villain has a very campy ’60s Batman tone (and the Dutch angle doesn’t help). Unless that was the intent?
Look at this, its a DC cover with a centered logo! They even went above and beyond and centered it vertically as well as horizontally! I’m not sure the magenta and yellow really fits the character, but I like the illustration and logo placement. Though I think the cover would’ve balanced out better if the position of the barcode and 75 Years logo were reversed (see sloppy mock-up).
THE LAST FALL #1
This is a really nice image, but there are a few things holding it back. The thin strokes of the logo are so thing that it kind of hurts readability. The logo also has some major kerning issues, and the shape of that “S” looks really awkward. The logo is also placed kind of strangely, in that the logo has been designed flush left but has been placed on the right. I also kind of wanted to see the logo interact with or relate to the image on the cover in some way.
Here’s a sloppy mock-up of how I might’ve approached it. The bar of flat color helps to frame the volcano, and placing the bar behind the character creates a more dynamic sense of depth. Having the logo contained within the bar also helps lead our eye from the logo to the figure (via the gun on the figure’s back), and then to the volcano the figure is looking at. This likely isn’t the only solution, but it’s the first one I went to.
For the font, I went with trusty Univers Thin Ultra Condensed, which has a very epic feel. It’s the font used for the logo of Aliens, the first edition of the Dark Knight Returns TPB, and the credits at the bottom of so many movie posters.
Mild-mannered UI/UX designer by day and freelance writer/artist by night, nothing can stop Kate Willaert in her quest to analyze everything in geek culture. She also writes about video game history for GameHistory.org.