Monday, October 1, 2012

Art Attack: December 2012's Coolest Covers

-Cyclops' optic blasts are as cool as an artist wants to make them, really. And that's a full team effort, from pencils to inks to especially colors. For decades, it was just a matter of Jack Kirby or John Byrne or Jim Lee drawing two straight lines and the colorist filling that in, but over the last decades, the evolution of digital art has really opened up the visual possibilities. If the two All-New X-Men covers I'm featuring this month are any indication, Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger and Marte Gracia are up to the task of raising that bar once again.

-The great Paolo Rivera is my cover artist of the month, and I'd say fully cemented as one of the best in the business now when it comes to creating evocative images, be they creepy, complex or (on rare occasions) playful. Can you believe a few years ago this handsome fellow was thought of primarily as a painter?

-I want a 22-page comic just explaining how Mr. Garcin created that cover for Amazing Spider-Man #700.

-Two issues in and I'm really digging Avengers Arena's cinematic homage covers. Want to know a secret? I've seen some more and the best is yet to come.

-As good as David Mack's figures and structuring is, it's generally his stark, simple backgrounds that strike me the most.

-I didn't realize I could love the Flash's costume, probably my favorite of all-time, anymore until Francis Manapul came along.

-I'm not sure and have not been able to determine definitively who designed the visual aspect of Ghost--the most likely result I've found is either Matt Haley or Adam Hughes--but the way Alex Ross' take on the character revitalized my interest in his work and now Phil Noto's interpretation is a whole new level for another artist I already enjoy and respect makes me even more eager to learn.

-There are some great Mike Deodato variant covers across Marvel NOW! coming in December, but I think Iron Man #4 is my favorite for the morbid playfulness and clever integration of the logo.

-Jeff Dekal's cover for Journey Into Mystery #647 is a bit sexually evocative without being so in an exploitative, way, no easy feat sometimes.

-If anybody was still wondering if Ivan Reis could hang as an A-list artist (why?), I would imagine they're not after seeing the cover to Justice League #15.

-I wouldn't even begin to know how Eddy Barrows designed the cover to Nightwing #15, but I know I like it.

-Todd McFarlane continues to make me smile with his Spawn homage covers. He seems to be having a good time.

-I can't think of a better way to close out Rick Remender's run on Uncanny X-Force, one of my favorites in recent memory, than with that awesome Julian Totino Tedesco cover to issue #35. Out with a friggin' bang.

ACTION COMICS #15 by Rags Morales

ALL-NEW X-MEN #3 by Stuart Immonen

ALL-NEW X-MEN #4 by Stuart Immonen

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #699 by Paolo Rivera

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 by Mr. Garcin

AMERICAN VAMPIRE #34 by Rafael Albuquerque

AVENGERS ARENA #1 by Dave Johnson

AVENGERS ARENA #2 by Chris Bachalo

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #15 by Gabrielle Dell'Otto

B.P.R.D.: HELL ON EARTH #102 by Ryan Sook

COMEBACK #2 by Michael Walsh

DAREDEVIL #21 by Paolo Rivera


FANTASTIC FOUR #2 by Adam Kubert

THE FLASH #15 by Francis Manapul

GHOST #3 by Phil Noto

THE GOON #45 by Eric Powell

HAWKEYE #6 by David Aja

HELLBLAZER #298 by Simon Bisley

THE HUMAN BOMB #1 by Jerry Ordway

IRON MAN #4 by Mike Deodato

IT GIRL & THE ATOMICS by Mike Allred



JUSTICE LEAGUE #15 by Ivan Reis

MIND THE GAP #7 by Rodin Esquejo

NIGHTWING #15 by Eddy Barrows

NOWHERE MEN #2 by Nate Bellegarde

RED SHE-HULK #60 by Carlo Pagulayan

SCARLET SPIDER #12.1 by Ryan Stegman

SECRET AVENGERS #35 by Art Adams

SPAWN #226 by Todd McFarlane

SUPERMAN #15 by Kenneth Rocafort


SWAMP THING #15 by Yanick Paquette

TALON #3 by Guillem March

THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #3 by Esad Ribic

UNCANNY X-FORCE #35 by Julian Totino Tedesco

X-MEN #39 by David Lopez

YOUNG JUSTICE #23 by Christopher Jones