The Best of the Week in Covers – 03/24/10

Sometimes covers are just the front of the book. Other times, they're in the back because you're holding it wrong. And on very rare occasions, the cover's in the middle because of a really massive printing error. These would be some of the better ones regardless of where they were put, but hopefully they're there on the front. 


Phonogram: The Singles Club trade paperback

cover by Jamie McKelvie


A brilliant piece of design work from McKelvie, and a perfect summation of this very special mini-series. It's clean, it's vibrant, and it tells you just what The Singles Club is all about. Music's at the heart of it, but revolving out of that are these great parallel character studies. Like a series of colorful short films. Or tracks on an album, come to think of it. Great jewel-to-pastel tones. The colors suggest the full spectrum of emotions you'll find any given night in a crowded club. It's all so crisp and pristine. And the typography? You want to hold this book a little reverently like a new LP fresh from its sleeve. Or a ceramic baby seal that's actually alive and who, according to prophecy, may one day save the world. Through song. 



Powergirl #10

cover by Amanda Conner

A terrific "How did we get here?" moment right out of the silver age. Subtler by far, but this reminds me of all those great Jimmy Olsen covers that beg questions like "Why is Jimmy marrying a gorilla?" or "What would possess Superman to deny a dehydrated Jimmy a sip from his canteen?" They did the same thing with The Flintstones. The first sequence you'd see was a scene from the climax of the episode, presented cold without a lick of context. What did Gazoo do this time and will Fred be able to rescue Barney from the drug cartel? This cover gives us a strange image where Power Girl is apparently at the mercy of an obnoxious little redhead who couldn't be happier with the situation. You want to find out why PG's going along with this little twerp's game. It's a great scene too, with people reacting from inside and outside the shop, action going on throughout the image. With all the gravitas and posturing in superhero comics, it's refreshing to find a series that isn't afraid to be funny and then goes on to actually be funny. 



The Marvels Project #7

cover by Steve McNiven


Once upon a time, superheroes didn't fly or even run. They bounded. They galavanted. It was a time when boots had big floppy cuffs and if you walked into a room wearing a domino mask people knew you were either there to save them from Nazis or take their valuables, and the letters S and M weren't even part of the equation (because algebra and sex weren't invented until 1960-something). This swashbuckling bit of merry marvel frivolity brought a big ol' smile to my face. The dramatic lighting is tremendous. It's like Norman Rockwell channeling Caravaggio at a seance in occupied France. You can practically hear the ferocious barking of the German Shepherds chasing Cap and Bucky through the abandoned trampoline factory. "Bark!" they bark. "Bark, bark, bark!" But in German. 


Alright, buckaroos. What'd I miss? 


  1. "Wau, Wau, Wau!" Is apparently the noise a German dog makes.

     I have too much time on my hands. Lovely Phonogram cover, I’m getting that at the weekend.

  2. Ah, boot cuffs… Those were the days…

  3. I don’t have any other covers to offer up as great, but I’m tempted to just throw out a couple random ones just to see what Paul would say about them. Fantastic pieces of writing here, Paul. And I really like the idea of Captain America bounding everywhere. It brings Dick Sprang’s version of Batman to mind. He seemed to be constantly jumping into frame too.

    Great job!

  4. That Power Girl cover is pretty fucking sweet.

  5. I liked the Power Girl cover a lot, but don’t understand why she doesn’t have eyeballs.  Is it Wally West in disguise?

  6. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    She’s rolling her eyes. 

  7. Who’s looking at her eyes? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

  8. Amanda Conner is a brilliant artist. I don’t know why I never went back for the second issue.

  9. see, that Marvels Project cover just sticks in my craw.  I’ve purposely ordered the Epting covers for every issue so far, and somehow I got stuck with this one this time.  so while that’s a great image, to me it just looks like it should be the Red Skull with Nazi tanks behind him. oh well.

  10. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Ah, sorry, buddy. Is there a worse place to get something stuck than in your craw? I submit that there is not. 

  11. Good lord, is Paul better at writing these than I am, or what?!

    So proud.

  12. While I take slight umbrage to your algebra joke (Seriously, do we need the middle east any more pissed at us, Paul?) I see your point and love reading these articles. Always a treat.

    The loss of floppy cuffed boots from a man’s daily wardrobe is a sad day indeed. I still haven’t forgiven Kennedy for the whole "hat" thing. I know you know what I mean.

  13. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    So I should write these while intoxicated more often? Noted. 

  14. McKelvie is the best .

  15. "What did Gazoo do this time and will Fred be able to rescue Barney from the drug cartel?"

    I never watch that episode of the Flinstones


    Love the Power Girl cover

  16. Montgomery.. you sir are hilarious. Keep it up!

  17. "Or a ceramic baby seal that’s actually alive and who, according to prophecy, may one day save the world. Through song."   HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!


  18. Nice choices, I definitely love that Power Girl cover.

    In the Pile: Deadpool #21. Come on guys. It’s Spider-Man and Deadpool fighting a monkey on the dance floor! That’s gotta be worth some cool points.

    The Rest: Mighty Avengers #35. I admit that the characters look a bit fugly. But that is a great design to make the Ultron face standout with the red. Hellblazer #265. For….the madness of it all.

    Worst Cover:  Justice League Rise of Arsenal #1. Come on, no one can look at that cover and say it’s not ridiculous.

    Best Trade Cover: Phonogram Vol 2: The Singles Club. Paul is right, brilliant design choice. Makes it stand out from other trades.

  19. I really liked the Echo cover this week (tho it was solicited for last week). And Shuddertown was cool too. The phonogram trade is sweet. All I think of when I see the powergirl cover is "lol at her proportions"

  20. kid in the power girl cover (my favorite btw) looks like he has tin man legs!

  21. The trick about the silver age covers is that they were often mysteries for the writer as well as the audience.  The editors gave the writers a cover (usually an odd moment, sometimes featuring a monkey or perhaps a misshapen earth–the two best selling categories) and asked them to explain how this came to be.  That, and the cap cover kicks ass.    

  22. Your intro paragraph is hysterical.

  23. Those are a GREAT batch of covers. The Phonogram one is a great example of "less is more" and the image leaps out at you. If I saw that in a store, i would HAVE to flip through it. The power Girl cover is also a terrific example of something that we rarely see anymore: a cover that has something happening in it! Seeing a cover that is NOT just a pin-up is ridiculously refreshing. 

  24. Great article, thanks!  I love the recent flurry of articles!  Your line about running away through the trampoline factory with the dogs was very funny, and the Power Girl cover is hilarious…reminds me in style of those Neal Adams covers.

  25. Lovely stuff as ever. Thanks 🙂