Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Cover

You know what I hate? I hate the random little descriptors that publishers like to put on the covers of the super-hero comics. Things like "Crash Test!" on the cover of the most recent Power Girl or "Death at Three Million Feet!" on Batman Beyond. It clutters things up and doesn't really tell us anything about the story. A cover's art, logo, and composition should tell us everything we need to know. And those random sayings obscure that.

Now, I'm okay with certain extra words on the cover. Take a look at this week's Zatanna, for instance. "Bewitched by Brother Night" is similar to those other random phrases. But instead of obscuring the nice cover art it is incorporated into the logo. That makes it feel like part of the composition rather than something that obscures it.

As Todd Klein will tell you in his phenomenal series on comic logos, covers need to stand together as a whole. A great logo and a great cover image are all you really should need to sell the comic. The publishers haven't seemed to have figured this out in the last twenty years...


Wednesday, July 14, 2010


A quick update, friends. I'm halfway through my summer language program and it is destroying me. And by that I mean it is improving my Japanese through an intense study regimen. But sometimes I feel like I'm going to be destroyed.

I don't have a whole lot to say about comics right now. But I did read the most recent Secret Six, and I enjoyed a light, fluffy story about how fools tend to underestimate the Six and Bane remains a badass.

Three weeks to go! See you soon enough!

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Monday, July 05, 2010


Whew, that was a long dry spell. Still here, still in Japan. Sorry about that. My summer Japanese course has me pretty much swamped. I'm sure I could find the time to post if I looked, but my mind is so focused on the program that I can't seem to see anything else. It's like wearing blinders, you know.

The big thing I missed is, of course, the Wonder Woman news. It's funny that I posted about Wonder Woman the day before that broke. About how I hadn't been interested in the character since Greg Rucka wrote her -- and never before. It's funny because that's what Mr. Straczynski is trying to do with this new direction: bring people like me in.

It's funny, but it might actually work. I know a lot of people aren't happy with this change. But it's going to be like Spider-Man's black costume and Superman Red/Blue: temporary. This is an attempt to shake things up and get people to put their eyes on the book.

Will it work? It's hard to say. There's certainly been a lot of press about this story. But whenever there's a comic book movie or Marvel does something wacky there's a lot of press. It rarely translates into extra sales. And if it does (see Obama Meets Spider-Man) it usually is only temporary. There's really only a really devoted base of comic readers. And the only way to get big numbers on a book is to drag them in.

And the way to keep them is to tell a good story. It's too early to tell if J. Michael Straczynski's Wonder Woman story will be good enough to do that. But if he can pull people in and make them stay... That'd be a miracle.