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Judging (DC’s July) Books By Their Covers

by  in Comic News Comment
Judging (DC’s July) Books By Their Covers

DC’s July Solicitations are up, so now is as good a time as any for us to make prejudgments based just on the covers (as we all love to make prejudgments, don’t we?).

Let’s begin!
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I am pretty sure that Dave Johnson could drink a bottle of absinthe, then wash it down with a bottle of vodka, then take a 20 minute nap, then run up 10 flight of stairs, then blindfold himself and he would STILL come up with a good cover.

He is quite good.
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Nice Action Comics cover. Livesay does wonders with Brad Walker’s art here, but even so, Walker does a good job as well.

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Veitch certainly does know how to draw some striking covers for Army@Love, although this one is one of the least striking ones so far.

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Very sweet Celia Calle American Virgin cover.

Just the right kind of twisted.
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What’s that? I didn’t say anything about hypnotic breasts.

Interesting cover design by George Perez.

Love the Legion ring. Nice touch.
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See, now THAT’S what Stuart Immonen is talking about when he talks about photo reference.

Paulo Sequeira didn’t just trace a bike from a movie or something, but he clearly used photo reference to make a very detailed-looking, but very drawn, motorcycle.

I dig this Black Canary cover – very bold piece – one of the best works I have seen from Sequeira.
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Not so much a fan of this asstastic one by Sequeira.

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Pretty fun looking Blue Beetle cover by Cully Hamner.

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I like Denys Cowan, but boy, this is a weird looking Batman Confidential cover.

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I’m almost kinda used to art looking muddy INSIDE the comics, but not on the covers!

Sanford Greene is not helped out by the stylistic choices on this Batman Strikes cover.
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There is a lot of good stuff in this Stephane Roux Birds of Prey cover.

The layout, especially the chair in the background, is strong – and the idea isn’t bad, but I dunno if I’m a big fan of the execution – it seems a bit off to me.

Not bad, though.

The bullet hole was an especially nice touch.
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Wow, a unique chance of pace for this Cartoon Network Action Pack cover by Travis Kotzebue!

They appear to know which side of the bread their bread is buttered on, as Ben 10 (who has slowly gotten more and more stories in this book, to the point where it was practically Cartoon Network Action Pack starring Ben 10) basically takes over the FULL cover this month.

Intriguing.

Nice cover, too.
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The standard shared cover setup continues with this Cartoon Network Block Party cover by Robert Pope, but I love his little piece of imagination here, using the circle spotlight to make a little spaceship.

When you are working in a restrictive format, it is always neat to try to be as creative as you can with what you have to work with.
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I am torn on this Karl Kerschl Checkmate cover.

On the one hand, it is drawn quite well.

On the other hand, the guy being drawn looks really dorky.

On my mutated third hand, I do not even remember who this guy is (I mean, I read Checkmate, so I should remember this guy, right?).

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Never knew Robin was allergic to pollen.

Pretty good Countdown cover by the Dodsons. Helluva lot better than Ed Benes.
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Is this JH Williams Crossing Midnight cover a re-solicit?

Or have his covers for Crossing Midnight just become that predictable?

I know it’s JH Williams, and I know I love him and all, but man…not a fan of a lot of these Crossing Midnight covers.
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Wow, while still too overly rendered for my tastes, I have to give Joe Benitez credit.

This is a well laid out cover for this collection of DC/Top Cow crossovers.

I especially love the little Darkness demons dressed as members of Cyberforce and the JLA.
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Clever cover for Deadman by Ronald Wimberly.

Nice layout, and the execution was interesting.
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I will give Carlos D’Anda credit – the almost incoherence of this Deathblow cover was most likely intentional, as D’Anda is trying to create an atmosphere of grittiness and grime. He is successful in doing so, and I think, ultimately, the cover works for what it was meant to be.

Not a cover I’m gonna love, though.
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Amusing Danger Girl cover.

Nick Bradshaw is beginning to look a lot like J. Scott Campbell…

which is a GOOD thing!
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Another strong Brian Wood cover for DMZ.

This book sure is lucky to have Wood designing the covers – he is another utter pro when it comes to cover design (and occasionally, he’ll totally wow you).
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Man, James Jean is starting to hit a bit of a rut with his Fables covers, even the good ones.

You can use other colors than gray!!

The covers don’t HAVE to be hazy all the time!
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A COUPLE OF JOCK COVERS!!!

As you know from reading Judging DC Books By Their Covers, Jock is pretty much incapable of drawing a BAD cover, and that continues this month, even with one of the weirdest Jock covers I have seen…Faker #1.

That is one twisted cover – but I think it is the right kind of twisted. It is certainly an attention getter.

Which is (ironic? funny?) because his cover for Green Arrow: Year One has the opposite problem – it is a really well drawn cover…

but it does NOT jump out at you the same way that the Faker covers does. I mean, where the heck is the logo even going to go on this comic?

Also, it is amusing that the abbreviation used for this cover image was GAY1.

Yes, I am twelve.
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Very nice cover to the latest Minx comic book.

But wait…if Jesse Hamm comes out with this book, will his opinions about comics suddenly matter?

Heads will explode!
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Gen 13’s sales are almost double those of Welcome to Tranquility, so the idea of tying the one book into the other makes total sense to me.

However, a cover whose hook is the sign where you’d only get the significance if you read the lower-selling book?

Doesn’t make sense to me.
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Anyone care to explain the design of Sinestro’s outfit to me? I mean, does it have a point or anything?

It doesn’t look good, so I presume it must have a purpose, then – like it is meant to be the opposite of the Green Lantern uniforms or something…but it doesn’t seem like it is.

I DO like the idea of how this and the Green Lantern Corps covers (done by Ethan Van Sciver and Patrick Gleason, respectively) almost seem like they are part of a flip book.

Very clever, if that’s how it was intended.

That being said – come on, guys, you gotta be consistent as to what hand Sinestro’s ring is on!!

That’s just a silly, easy-to-avoid mistake right there.
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Question – is Midnighter cradling Grifter on this cover or is he attacking him?

It probably isn’t a good sign that I can’t tell for sure either way.
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Hmmm…I think perhaps Lee Bermejo’s art works better in shadows, because, much like computer effects in film, the brighter the medium, the faker the computer effects appear.

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One of the best Sami Basri covers that I have seen so far for this JLA Classified cover.

Perhaps a bit of damning with faint praise there, though.
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Wow, Michael Turner!! An actually well drawn JLA cover…oh wait…this one is by Gene Ha?

Never mind.
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A Justice League Unlimited adaptation of the Millennium Giants storyline?!?! COULD IT BE!??!!?

Please don’t get my hopes up, DC, just to dash them!

Edited to add: My pal Justin told me that, had I actually read the solicitation, I would have known that my joke about them doing a JLU adaptation of the Millennium Giants is actually the truth – they actually ARE adapting that story. HILARIOUS!!!!

Nice Zach Howard cover. He is a peachy keen artist.
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Nice Phil Noto cover for Jonah Hex.

One of his better covers, I think.
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There has been way too much discussion of this cover so far, so I’m done with it, I’m not touching this cover with a 10-inch pole.

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BATTLE OF THE STEVE UY COVERS!

Ooooh…poor opening by JSA Classified. A meek pop up to first with this fairly bland cover featuring Jakeem Thunder (who looks like a tiny adult rather than a teen/child).

Therefore, with a solid single up the middle, Legion of Superheroes (FEATURING YOUNG SUPERMAN, DAMMIT! YOUNG SUPERMAN!! IT IS NOT SUPERBOY AT ALL! IF YOU THINK IT IS SUPERBOY, YOU ARE NUTS, PAL – BECAUSE IT IS A YOUNG SUPERMAN!) takes the contest.

A clever enough cover design, and some good character drawings..
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Pretty cool Scott Jeralds Looney Tunes cover.

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I think it would be kinda funny if that was one of those crystal ball toys that Batman is carrying on this cover, as most of the character decisions on Outsiders seem to be results of using one of them, rather than, you know, logic or whatever.

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C.P. Smith has quickly become one of my favorite artists at the Big Two, but I am not all that impressed with this cover of his new series (his first monthly in, what, two years?), The Programme.

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Pretty good Patrick Gleason cover.

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Another strong cover design by Ron Wimberly (joining this month’s Deadman cover).

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It is a good thing that Ed Benes is no longer drawing Supergirl, or else this cover would be from Superman’s perspective.

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Fairly bland Shadowpact cover from Tom Derenick this time around.

And am I totally off – or is there a John Byrne influence in these pencils that are not typical to Derenick’s art?
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Wow…Superman/Batman has really hit its lowpoint, hasn’t it?

Remember when this book was kinda a big deal? Now it’s like those 80s World Finest issues. Is it really that hard to get a good creative team for this title?
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The basic concept of this Jesus Merino cover is strong, and his execution is interesting enough, but there’s one thing that throws this cover off for me…

Is Lois Lane wearing a freaking CORSET?

How does that make any sense at all?
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Is this the first time Ordway has inked Jurgens before?

It is a strange combination.

I love the idea of an omnibus of the Death and Return of Superman. Did you know the Reign of Supermen was out of print recently? That seems illogical.
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Not loving this Tim Sale Superman Confidential cover.

It looks like a panel taken out of the comic and blown up to be used as a cover.

Not a good look.

It is a really nice drawing by Sale, though.
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A really strong Ryan Sook cover here for Supernatural.

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Good Stormwatch cover by Mike McKone.

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Darick Roberston continues to make beautiful sculptures out of Play-Doh, making the best out of a weird assignment. Texas Chainsaw Massacre?!? This is Darick Robertson here! He drew Transmetropolitan!

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Interesting concept by Liam Sharp for this Testament cover.

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Fairly bland Neil Googe cover for Welcome to Tranquility.

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Al Barrionuevo is never at a loss for dynamism.

This cover has some weird spots (like what exactly is going on for one, and where is the amazon’s left arm for two), but it is certainly dynamic!
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This Todd Nauck Teen Titans Go cover is a little bit less dynamic, and it is (technically) an action shot!

Well drawn figures, though.
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Whilce Portacio always draws the best thumb-wrestling covers.

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Is this a new cover?

No, right?

If it isn’t new – no sense in talking about it…
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Striking Wonder Woman cover by the Dodsons.

I dig it.
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HONORABLE MENTIONS!
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Very neat Ladronn Atom cover.

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Good J.H.Williams cover, but not as clever as last month’s Batman cover.

Morrison and Williams…so cool.
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Very nice Simone Bianchi cover – but I’d like some more color, please!!

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Tony Moore sure loves him his striking Exterminators covers!

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Joshua Middleton does a great job on this Flash cover.

He probably fits in better on superheroes than American Virgin.

How about some interior art from him sometime?
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Wow, this is Dustin Nguyen?

Very cool cover – reminds me a lot of Frusin, who I love.

And the idea of doing a comic telling the story of Jason Voorhees’ mother? VERY COOL.
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See? Computers can be our friends!

Very nice distortion effect for this Ninja Scroll cover by Michael Chang Ting Yu.
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Simonson and action go together like tortilla chips and salsa – very well, indeed!

Great Hawkgirl cover.
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Wow, see what Dennis Calero is capable of when he isn’t constrained by big dumb wolf heads?

Awesome Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes cover by Calero.
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The amount of coolness Ryan Sook manages to get out of this fairly dorky Nightwing cover is amazing to me.

Sook is really, really good.
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TOP FIVE!!!
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5. Adam Hughes has really good cover design sense.

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4. So does Jock.

What a clever cover concept.
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3. This Highwaymen cover by Brian Stelfreeze is a big improvement over #1 by being a little more original – it’s a funny, interesting cover.

Howeve,r what REALLY does it for me is the look on the woman’s face. Hard to pull off – and Stelfreeze pulls it of beautifully.

Great cover.
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2. A very striking Pete Woods’ cover for Amazon Attacks.

Using some very basic artistic principles, Woods really captures drama well, and in doing so, also captures our attention.

And he stays within the frame!!
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1. As Y The Last Men nears the end of the series, Massimo Carnevale apparently was saving his best for the last, as this is an excellent cover by Carnevale.

A clever layout and excellent execution makes this my top pick of the month.
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Well, that’s it for me! Feel free to share YOUR prejudices (and your top fives)!!

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