An Abe solo adventure that sends our amphibian hero on the hunt of an ancient relic aboard a sunken Soviet submarine is reason enough to take notice, to be sure. But when you add the Eisner Award-winning artist to the equation, there’s cause for celebration — particularly when the cover he creates is such a departure from what we’re accustomed to seeing on the Hellboy and B.P.R.D. books.
Johnson, known for his bold sense of design on such titles as 100 Bullets, Detective Comics, Superman: Red Son and Punisher, spoke briefly with Robot 6 about his striking cover for The Abyssal Plain #1, and shared art from the production process.
Abe Sapien: The Abyssal Plain #1 is due in stores in June.
While the color palette signals that the comic is in the Hellboy/B.P.R.D. line, the other elements are vastly different — the massive amount of white space instead of encroaching shadows, the repetition of the hammer and sickle in the bubbles (distinctly you). Was it a conscious effort to go in such a vastly different direction?
Actually, I have to disagree with you on the color palette. It’s hardly the Hellboy norm. And that was the point. [Mike] Mignola had said that he wanted me because I was doing something different than himself on other stuff. So I really wanted to set myself apart. Which is a lot harder than you think because his style is so ingrained into the Hellboy universe. And because I’m a huge fan, it still feels like I’m pissing on perfection. But that’s the job, I guess. Haha. So, I wanted more color than black to dominate the over all feel. Also, I love negative space in design. Too many artists act like they’re getting paid by the line and how much crap they can unload on a cover. I’ll take a well-designed, simple cover over a hyper-rendered fanboy jerk-fest any day of the week.
Founded by cartoonist Robert Goodin, Covered is one of the all-time great comic-art blog concepts: Get artists to draw “cover versions” of their favorite comics covers. And if you’ve been following blogs like Robot 6, you’ve probably gathered from the amount of linklove Covered has gotten that the execution has been just as awesome as the idea.
Now Covered is moving beyond the electronic walls of the Internet to the gallery walls of L.A. retailer Secret Headquarters, which is holding an Covered art show that opens March 6 at 8pm. The show will feature mostly all-new art in the mighty Covered manner from Goodin, Jeffrey Brown, Coop, Lisa Hanawalt, Dustin Harbin, Sammy Harkham, Sam Henderson, Tom Neely, Laura Park, Brian Ralph, Aaron Renier, Johnny Ryan, Richard Sala, Jeremy Tinder, Mark Todd, Jon Vermilyea, Steve Weissman, and many more. You’ll be able to buy art there or via Secret Headquarters’ Flickr page. Save those pennies, Los Angelenos!
(Via Shaggy Erwin)
Just in case you have some sort of crippling emotional block that prevents you from checking Robert Goodin’s wonderful Covered blog every day — since that’s the only reason I can think of why you wouldn’t — I just wanted to bring Jeffrey Brown’s cover version of Al Milgrom & Steve Leialoha’s cover for Secret Wars II #8 to your attention. (Actually, it’s sort of an X-Men-centric remix of the original.) Above is a small portion–believe me, you wanna click through and see the whole thing, if only to marvel that yes, the major antagonist for a line-dominating crossover event once dressed in an all-white version of Eddie Murphy’s leather jumpsuit from Delirious.
One of my favorite comics art blogs, Covered, received a nice write-up this week on Wired’s Underwire blog. If you haven’t seen it before, Covered features new takes on old comics covers by a variety of artists.
In addition to showcasing some of blogger/artist Robert Goodin’s favorite submissions, Underwire also featured commentary from Goodin on each of his favorites (including Danny Hellman’s Captain America cover, above.)
Chikara is a Lucha Libre-style wrestling promotion based in Pennsylvania that uses a lot of comic book imagery in their promotion. Case in point, check out these covers to some of their DVDs, which feature homages to classic comic covers by Marco D’Alfonso, or check out their roster page to see their talent turned into comic book heroes and villains.
I’ve ended up with several process-related posts in my saved links file, so I thought I’d share them all in one swoop.
• Let’s start with Jeffrey Brown, who has been posting up a storm of process goodness on his blog. Brown’s new book, Funny Misshapen Body, was just released; here are some early cover “brainstorming” sketches:
Here’s some of the initial brainstorming for the ‘Funny Misshapen Body’ cover. There were about a dozen more ideas, but these were the strongest ones. All the ideas were passed along to the editors at Touchstone, who then looked at them and decided which parts and aspects of the concepts they liked most.
• Next, Joshua Middleton covers Supergirl #45 …
Thanks to our pals at Marvel Comics, we are pleased to present the exclusive debut of the Invincible Iron Man #14 variant cover by none other than Marc Silvestri!
Continuing the next chapter in Matt Fractions “World’s Most Wanted” storyline, this issue features Tony Stark on the run from his rogues gallery — and the big bad guy in the Marvel Universe, Norman Osborn! Invincible Iron Man #14 hits stores this June.
Be sure to catch this issue in its glorious variant cover by the Top Cow himself, Marc Silvestri.
Click on the image at the right to see it full size.
During their panel at WonderCon today (or yesterday, I guess, as it is now past midnight — crap, I need to go to bed) BOOM!revealed one of the covers for The Unknown … this one by Paul Pope. Watch for my full panel report soon on the main CBR site. And by soon I mean most likely in the morning, as I’m sure all the sane people who work for CBR are asleep, while I’m still up and about.
Sleep awaits …
As difficult and time-consuming, yet thoroughly enjoyable, as it was to narrow down my 25 favorite covers of the year, it was a task made much tougher by one thing: the holiday calendar.
Despite what the DC Comics website led me to believe, this week’s releases came out today (2009) and not Wednesday (2008), which meant a couple of early entries had to be bumped off the list late in the game. I’m a stickler, at least when it comes to that. Maybe those covers will make the next edition.
I’ve tried to explain, to the best of my ability, what makes the covers so successful, at least in my eyes. In some cases I’ve probably gone overboard, while in others I’ve failed to put a finger on that indefinable quality that makes an image stand out. That’s the nature of art, I suppose.
So now, without further delay or caveat, here is my list of the 25 best comic-book covers of the year (in alphabetical order):