Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cover "fails from 11/26/11

 This is just a boring cover. It just doesn't feel designed at all, beyond, the artist just fulfilling the act of telling you the girl likes her cocaine. I mean, that should be obvious, because cocaine is awesome. (That's a joke kids, cocaine is *sniffffff* bad for you)
It lacks drama just from the flat layout.  This is what I call an "Interior panel" cover. Which in my book is always a big no-no.
 Also, the girls reflection is way off. The angle is wrong and she looks like she's in another room altogether. Or maybe she has a twin sister beside her about five feet back who also loves that sweet, sweet cocai...... sorry.
 Ok, beyond the continuing mystery of who buys these celebrity comics (I'm assuming somebody does because they keep making them) is the issue of landing that likeness. Which, I have to confess I'm terrible at doing. So if you're going to be doing a cover based on a famous person, you better bring your A-game. If the publisher was smart, he'd go down to the park and hire one of those street caricature artists to do one. Plus they work really cheap. Seriously, some of those artists kick ass.
 The design of this cover isn't the issue. It's Ok. But the thing that jumped out at me was her leg (I circled it like Perez Hilton, minus the cum drops he seems to love drawing on celebrities) it's super bendy looking. Very strange.
And lastly, we have Alex Ross's The Last Phantom cover. My main problem isn't Alex's fault, it's the logo. It's doesn't stand out at all. And to make matters worse, making "The" white really doesn't help the problem.

Well, that's it for another week. If I talked about your work, and I've hurt your feelings, I'm sorry. It's just my opinion. Karma will probably be kicking me in the ass soon enough.

Cover "wins" of 11/26/11

 Simple, elegant, powerful. A perfect case of less is more. Anybody who knows my work, knows I'm a sucker for two tone color. This cover lets you know this book is more than just an average comic book. The type also helps a lot in that regard.
 What I like about this cover besides the nice job on the rendering is that if you squint your eyes it still reads as a bold, readable design. And as I've talked about before, it does a great job of having depth. Foreground, middle ground and background. Plus it sets a great overall mood. Somebody is gonna get fucked up at the business end of that sword. No wonder nobody is on the street, he's a scary dude.
And finally, this one. It conveys a great sense of motion. And it's a super nice drawing. Design wise I might have made the hands darker and lightened up the BG. Or the opposite, darken up that area to make the hands pop more. As is, I feel like they compete a bit too much. But I still like the cover.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So apparently I'm now labelled a "homophobe"

It all stems from a comment I made about this Batman & Robin cover where I said "OMG! Is this a parody of something? Way to keep those gay rumors at bay. Crotch shots are GO!" Well, if you assume I'm a homophobe, then just go ahead and assume that I think you're an idiot. Do you really know what that word means? I don't think you do. Maybe you should look it up. I neither fear gay people or have distain for them. That said, the main reason I talked about this cover being a "miss" for me beyond the "Ambiguously Gay Duo" vibe it's sending off it that the overall design is flat. It really doesn't look like any thought was put into the over all design. Just two characters jumping around.
Now I've heard someone say that it's a homage from something else, like a Street Fighter cover or something. I've got two problems with this. First, if it is, maybe a credit should have been included. And two, why would you re-do something that was lame to begin with? Unless of course this book is supposed to be a big joke.
Bottom line, I'm not a homophobe, and these are just opinions. If you're offended, guess what? Nobody ever died from being offended.

p.s. Just wanted to make it official on this blog. Frank Quitely is a fine artist. Those Bite Club covers he did back in the day are fantastic along with other newer work. And I'm sure he's a hell of guy. But as stated on Twitter, a lot of those Batman & Robin covers left me cold in a design sense. Like I said before, it's just my opinion.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Some cover "Wins" from the week of 11/20/11

First off, this is a fun cover from Cory Walker. There's a lot going one but it's got great depth and priorities. The main characters stand out against the background, allowing you to discover the detail in the background as a secondary note. The way it should be. The atmospheric perspective helps out by lightening the BG as the elements gets farther away. It's the way to do it people, take note.
Massimo Carnevale is so good it makes my teeth hurt. It's a simple design, main character standing front and center. But if drawn/painted well, like this one, it can be quite fantastic. Win!
Another example of this. Why do I like it? The color. Green against red is a personal favorite. Maybe because I was always told NOT to do that in art school. What do they know? Most teach because they can't get work as an artist.
I guess I'm on a green and red roll. This design is simple yet effective. I bet it jumped off the stands next to some of those rainbow covers that seem to overwhelm the racks. And it's well drawn. Mr Chiang knows his shit.
And finally, this one. I'm a sucker for comic book cover design that feels like a regular book design. Great job.

A few more cover misses from the week of 11/20/11

My main problem with this is lack of credit to the original artist Frank miller. People, without a credit note to the original source of your design I'm just going to assume you're a plagiarist. You're better than that.
Ok, my issue with this cover isn't so much that it's a bad design, but the fact that all the Lady Death covers are basically the SAME FUCKING COVER!!! Usually a traced Victoria's Secret photo with some random elements tossed in. Never anything about a story, although that might be on purpose. I can't imagine that it would be that great of a read to begin with, but maybe I'm just immune to ways of Lady Death. For all I know, it could be the Watchmen of soft core titillation super hero books. If you're a huge fan of the book and you think I'm wrong about it, let me know. But regardless, the cover designs of this title leaves me limp.
And finally, this one. I'm really confused by what the artist is trying to convey here. He obviously loves drawing hands. Glowing hands and zombie hands. But the over all design just doesn't make a whole lotta sense. Are the 2 glowing hand guys friends and are facing off against a zombie hoard? Or are they about to fight it out with wizard powers for the entertainment of the zombies? As we now know from watching The Walking Dead, zombies love flairs. But would a zombie buy this book? I'm not so sure.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Another one from yesterday

Here's another one I talked about yesterday. Like I said then, team book covers are a bitch. Too much to focus on if you don't work on it. Here's a possible solution to help create levels.
I made the characters in front a bit larger and put them in shadow. I would maybe do more with the layout, but I'm too lazy to do it here.
Talked about this cover on Twitter yesterday. But wanted to show a possible solution to why I didn't feel the over all design left me cold. It's hard to do too much since I don't have the actual file to work with but you get the idea.
I still feel it doesn't pop as much as I'd like, but it's not like I'm getting paid to it, so it is what it is.

NOTE* Now if you're going to do a bloody mouth coming out of torn paper, I guess you could use this one as an example of how to do it right. Or maybe the other artist WAS using it as example of how to do a cover. Oops.