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...



At 10:03 PM, Blogger Tom Foss said...

I agree totally. For instance, today I was getting a bunch of comics ready to sell, and saw an early issue of Johns' Teen Titans. The cover had some of the Titans careening down a street in the Batmobile, which is a pretty compelling image. Drawing your eye away from the image was the text at the bottom: "Licence to Drive!" Really? It's like they thought they were taking the phrase "license to kill" and sticking a clever, unexpected word at the end...except that "license to drive" is the more common phrase.

Whose duty is it to clutter up covers with text? Why can't they let the art speak for itself? It makes me long for that month where all the DC covers were basically wordless and logo-less, incorporating the issue title into the cover image.

At 8:24 AM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

Those were always fun months. They didn't happen often enough.


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