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COVER SHOOT: The Top 5 Comic Book Covers For January 22, 2014

COVER SHOOT

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

 

This weekly feature will take a look at THE most visually compelling comic book covers on the market today. Whether they be rare variant editions or just your standard fare, these are the top 5 covers that stand out amidst the bevy of books released each week. They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words”  but these covers are worth more than that! No matter the storylines behind them, these covers compel you to at least check them out, which can be worth exponentially more than just words to the companies that publish them! Enjoy!

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1.  Avengers #25 – Variant Edition – (Marvel): Alex Ross is known throughout the comics field as the man that started the “realistic” comic cover. Covers that depict such high detail that Ross’ characters seem as though they are true to life. Well, this cover is one of the best ones I have seen as of yet! Classic Avengers characters adorn every inch of this cover! Ross’ layout is superb and the colors give it that nostalgic feel of Kirby and Lee at their very best. Simply superb!

 

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2.  Bravest Warriors #16 – Variant Edition – (KaBoom/Boom! Studios): I thought this cover was a perfect example of the Manga Pop craze that is hitting the nation. Mike Holmes gives this cover a brilliant art deco background while placing the Japanese style central character slightly askew in the forefront. This is a great amalgam of art styles and proves that you don’t need super heroes in tights to make a cool cover!

 

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3.  Batman #27 (DC): Greg Capullo is no stranger to creating horrific images in comics, but this cover will certainly draw some attention away from the other books on the rack this week! Bleak in color and tone, this cover will create a vortex for the eye, singling it out amid the myriad of Technicolor laden books. Plus, the central image is so disproportionate and deranged it makes you wonder if this is a cover for Batman or Crossed! Fantastic line work and a great use of dark tones make this one a must have for Bat fans!

 

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4.  Eternal Warrior #4 – Variant Edition – (Valiant): This is an amazing watercolor cover, by the ever versatile David Mack, that I need to get a copy of! Perfect use of line and color off set each other in this masterpiece. The broad water color strokes in the background give it a subtle look while the foreground captures the essence of the main character perfectly. It is a truly beautiful cover for such a brutal character but Mack pulls it off with ease!

 

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5. Harley Quinn #2 (DC): This cover has everything you would expect in a Harley book! Animals, chaos, blood?, a love note to Joker and of course, a beautiful central figure that is more than off her rocker! Amanda Conner captures the pure essence of Harley with this single, multi-faceted image and fans are going to love it. Highly detailed lines and a vibrant color palette make this cover pop off of the stands and would make an exquisite poster to boot! People who say Amanda Conner can only draw “hot babes” need to check out this cover that proves her talent far exceeds their low expectations!

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COVER SHOOT: The Top 5 Comic Book Covers for November 13th, 2013

COVER SHOOT

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

 

This weekly feature will take a look at THE most visually compelling comic book covers on the market today. Whether they be rare variant editions or just your standard fare, these are the top 5 covers that stand out amidst the bevy of books released each week. They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words”  but these covers are worth more than that! No matter the storylines behind them, these covers compel you to at least check them out, which can be worth exponentially more than just words to the companies that publish them! Enjoy!

 

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1. Coffin Hill #2 (Vertigo/DC): This stunning cover by Dave Johnson is not only beautiful but hauntingly eerie as well. The deep purple and maroon background are the perfect complement to the bright foreground figure. It makes it seem that she was cut form another work of art and overlaid to this one, each piece having merit in their own right, but together make something extraordinarily wonderful!

 

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2. X-Men Gold #1 (Variant Edition) (Marvel): John Cassady makes a classic throwback cover to the early days of the X-Men in this 50 year anniversary book of Marvel’s merry mutants! The layout has that perfect nostalgic feel of the team diving into battle, young and innocent, with no regrets. But, it is Cassady’s decision to use pop art style design for the background that gives this cover that Jim Steranko feel, and no one can beat that!

 

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3. Harbinger #18 (Valiant): Matthew Walsh creates an amazingly surreal cover that is compositionally perfect. The way Walsh “bleeds” the tendrils from the Bleeding Monk into the caverns of Peter Stancheck’s mind not only makes for an outstanding effect, but also metaphorically matches the relationship these two characters have with one another. The choice of minimal colors draws the eye away form everything else on the racks today — perfect!

 

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4. Batman: Li’l Gotham #8 (DC): I don’t even know where to begin with this one! Dustin Nguyen creates some of the most artistic and fun covers on the market today and this is just one more awesome piece! There are so many parts for the eye to enjoy, the vibrant colors, the amazingly rendered characters, mermaids, the pirate ship etc. I could go on and on! This piece is not only poster worthy, but gallery worthy. Whomever says “toon” art isn’t art, is too stuck up to know what true art is!

 

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5. Batgirl #25 (DC): As frequent readers of this article know, Alex Garner has been present on this list more than a few times. Is there any reason why he shouldn’t be? This painted and digitally enhanced cover is essentially perfect. The strain and determination on the central characters face sets the pace for what takes place in the interior of the book and helps to bring a glimpse of humanity to an otherwise dark and gloomy city! Alex we NEED posters!!
 

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COVER SHOOT: The Top Five Comic Covers For 8/28/13

COVER SHOOT

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

This weekly feature will take a look at THE most visually compelling comic book covers on the market today. Whether they be rare variant editions or just your standard fare, these are the top 5 covers that stand out amidst the bevy of books released each week. They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words”  but these covers are worth more than that! No matter the storylines behind them, these covers compel you to at least check them out, which can be worth exponentially more than just words to the companies that publish them! Enjoy!

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1. American Vampire Anthology #1 – Variant Edition – (Vertigo/DC): This homage to the Godfather is a striking image that is sleek and beautiful in it’s simplicity. Rafael Albuquerque uses an ink wash to create this ode to the past but still manages to convey a high level of detail with such a fickle medium. His level of skill is unmatched and this cover proves it!

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2. The Green Hornet #5 – Variant Edition – (Dynamite): Paolo Rivera gives us a “behind the scenes look” with this sketch cover which will surely draw your eye at the local comic shop! I always appreciate these kinds of covers, ones where we get to see the bare bones of the art in it’s pure, unaltered form. There is something awe-inspiring about seeing the artist concept formulated in high pencil detail prior to color and ink that makes you want to pick up a pencil yourself and give it a whirl! 

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3. Batman/Superman #3 – Variant Edition – (DC): Yes, Jae Lee appears on this list again, but give me one good reason why he shouldn’t! With the stark contrast in color between the background and the central characters — everything pops on this cover! There is so much detail and such a visually appealing layout, that the eye doesn’t know what to take in first. Plus, his rendition of Darkseid is PERFECT!

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4. The Wake – Director’s Cut #1 (Vertigo/DC): Sean Cassidy did an amazing cover when this book was originally released, but this one far surpasses that! The bleached white background offsets the minimal color palette used and helps to accentuate the bold lines of the central image. It is truly enthralling and definitely creepy!

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5. Uncanny Avengers #11 (Marvel): John Cassady creates a cover reminiscent of one of my favorite X-Men covers, Uncanny X-Men #249. Although his layout is completely different, his lack of color and placement of Wolverine as the central sacrifice, brings about the same feeling of dread that I felt all those years ago. The cover is rich in it’s simplicity but even more so it the feeling it conveys to the reader. Very nice work!

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COVER SHOOT: Top 5 Comic Book Covers For July 10th, 2013

Cover Shoot

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

 

This weekly feature will take a look at the most visually compelling covers on the market today. Whether they be variant editions or standard ones, these are the top 5 covers that stand out amongst the bevy of books that are released each week. They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” these covers are worth more than that! No matter the storylines found behind them, these covers draw you to at least check them out, which can be worth exponentially more than just words to the companies that publish them! Enjoy!

 

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1. X-O Manowar #15 – Variant Edition – (Valiant): Kekai Kotaki gives a gloriously rendered cover that explodes off the racks and exudes pure energy! From background to foreground, every inch of this cover is exquisite! His sense of action and power is heightened by the choice of an angled perspective making the cover seem fluid throughout. Highly detailed and electric, nothing shows as much force as this cover this week!

 

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2. Batgirl #22 (DC): Beautiful and haunting, this cover by Alex Garner tells a complete tale in a single image. You can feel the anguish and pain pouring out from every brush stroke, compelling the curious buyer to grab it off the racks and learn more. The use of shadow and the vibrant contrast between Batgirl and the Bat symbol, relate to the idea that the person behind the mask matters less than the overall iconic status portrayed by the symbol itself. Garner has created something pure and engaging and quite symbolic in his own right.

 

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3. Ultimate Comics Ultimates #27 (Marvel): Michael Komarck creates a stunning digital image that is sure to get heads turning in shops all week. From the read-out screens hovering in the background to the creepy “mad scientist” image in the foreground, everything screams classic “Sci-fi” in this cover! The use of a greenish hue behind the central figure gives an overtly eerie feel to the cover, one heightened by the image of an incapacitated Tony Stark. Awesome!

 

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4. Quantum and Woody #1 – Variant Edition – (Valiant): To begin, this is a beautiful painting of a goat by Tom Fowler! The juxtaposition between the royal blue background and the stark white of the goat makes the image stand out amongst all other comics. But, it’s not the image so much as the sheer brilliance in technology that lands it a spot on COVER SHOOT this week! This cover is also enhanced with a QR code that is found over the goat’s mouth. When using your Smartphone or Android device to activate the code you will hear the goat “speak” to you! Now, Valiant has done this before with Harbinger #1, but how cool is it to have a goat baying to you and utter “Quantum and Woody?” Cool enough for me!

 

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5. The Lone Ranger #16 (Dynamite): This cover is simplistic yet, perfect! Francesco Francavilla does an astonishing job of breaking down a cover to the core of what it should be — eye-catching! The magnificent contrast between the overwhelming blue and the brilliance of the “glowing” moon is breathtaking, creating a total image that transcends everything else between the covers. It exudes a relentlessness, a determination that will defy all odds, and overall, it tells the tale of a lost soul seeking vengeance with only one beautiful image.  

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Cover Shoot: Top 10 Comic Book Covers For June 5th

Cover Shoot

By: Chris “DOC” Bushley

 

This weekly feature will take a look at the most visually compelling covers on the market today. Whether they be variant editions or standard ones, these are the top 5 covers that stand out amongst the bevy of books that are released each week. They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” these covers are worth more than that! No matter the storylines found behind them, these covers draw you to at least check them out, which can be worth exponentially more than just words to the companies that publish them! Enjoy!

 

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1. Astro City #1 (Vertigo/DC): Alex Ross is a living legend of “realism” art in the comics genre! Focusing on bringing true depictions of comics characters to life, his paintings have graced covers too numerous to count but they all stand out above the rest on the racks. What makes this cover extra special is that it is the debut of Astro City for a new generation. Ross brings that aspect across stunningly as the Samaritan opens the door for, not only the other heroes, but to let fans into their world as well! Perfect!

 

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2. Herobear and the Kid Special #1 (BOOM!Studios): Simple and classic, artist/writer Mike Kunkel, brings his modern American style of “cartoonism” back in this wonderful all-ages special. Crisp and clean, Kunkel keeps the cover to the “bear” minimum which helps to accentuate his skill of a single image on a bold background. This makes Herobear appear iconic and solidifies it as a stylised logo with but a single image!

 

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3. Archer & Armstrong #10 — variant edition (Valiant Entertainment): Retro is all the rage right now and nothing means retro quite like the 8-bit variant covers that have been popping up everywhere! Matthew Waite’s “Donkey Kong” rendition is a cut above the rest due to him implementing specific examples regarding the characters throughout the cover. Just check out little drunk and sleeping Armstrong in the bottom corner to see how Waite mimics his cover with the hilarity writer Fred Van Lente brings inside the book!

 

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4. Fearless Defenders #5 (Marvel): Piggybacking off of the retro game theme, Fearless Defenders has an amazing Street Fighter cover this week! Mark Brooks does a spectacular job paying attention to detail in this one, the logos are even the same! Mark Brooks always has unique ideas to bring to the covers of this book, from action figure themes to paper doll cut-outs, he truly does his best to make this book stand out on the rack.

 

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5. Suicide Risk #2 (BOOM!Studios): Tommy Lee Edwards makes this cover scream off the racks with a blitzkrieg of colors that convey the chaos that awaits you inside! Lead character, Leo Winters, may be in a cacophony of exploding color but Edwards directs the reader upward to his eyes, where a stoic calm resonates and lets the reader know that below the surface, Leo Winters is deducing what his next move is. Fantastic!

 

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6. Ten Grand #2 (Joe’s Comics/Image): Ben Templesmith is known for his mesmerizing line work that ensnares you with it’s complexity. Nothing resonates that fact more than this cover. With A stark white background all we can focus on are the two characters embracing in the middle. Nothing matters to them except each other, the rest of the world has fallen away. A cover should give you a sense of what the issue is about, THIS cover tells you what the entire series is about in a single image! Stunning!

 

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7. Daredevil: End of Days #8 (of 8) (Marvel): Continuing with the beauty of single image covers, we gaze upon Alex Maleev’s haunting rendition of Daredevil. Juxtaposed against a white background, the stark crimson frame of DD can only draw attention away from the other books that may surround it on the racks. It is a powerful images that tells the reader the hero is weary of his quest and yet stoic enough to stand against evil. Maleev is one of the top cover artists of today and this is more proof as to why!

 

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8. Earth 2 #13 — variant edition (DC): Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund combined to make an amazing color cover to this issue, but it is the line and ink version that is visually more astounding! Booth exudes enthusiasm in his line art that is sometimes overshadowed during the coloring process, but here we can see the pure emotion of Captain Steel as he is set ablaze capturing the the very essence of Booth’s line! There is something magical about crisp line and ink pictures that resonate with readers, this one is awesome!

 

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9. Avengers #13 (Marvel): Simple line and ink can convey great emotion to a reader, then again, so can a cover that is so crammed with action that you are completely blown away! Lenil Francis Yu gives you an adrenaline rush from the first glance of this book and it makes you gravitate towards it immediately. His upward scale drives the eye from the twisted pile of heroes toward the looming threat above them, making the cover ominous as well as action packed! Few can manipulate such a magnitude of characters and convey that amount of emotion to a reader in a single image, few but the Yu!

 

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10. Black Bat #2 — variant edition (Dynamite): I have watched Jae Lee evolve from an artist trying to find his own style to becoming one of the best cover artists in the business today! His balance of the subject and the juxtaposition of pure black against a vibrant background makes a truly astonishing cover. It seems overtly simple but it is a highly detailed melding of the creeping stark black of shadow with hint shades of grey. The sinister swathe of red draws the eye in and you can’t help but gravitate to that bold red logo as it screams off of the rack!

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