We love us some comic book covers as you can see by the content in our galleries. Why? Because it’s typically the more artistic element of a comic whereas the interior is somewhat more utilitarian by nature. Cover art introduces (usually) the tale within by encapsulating the story into a single picture. Also, a really good cover is truly an expressive piece of high art. There’s a certain satisfaction derived from spending several moments soaking in the colors (or the intentional lack thereof), textures, nuances, lines, expressions, details, and more, before launching into the comic book within. In fact, a really good cover sets a very level of expectation that what is inside should (but, sadly, too often doesn’t) match the beauty of what’s presented on the face. It really rankles us when a fantastic cover wraps a mediocre story or art within. What a shame. However, when the comic is the whole package, the cover is like a gorgeous gift wrap.
We’re not sure if this initiative of sharing favorite monthly covers has legs. Remember, we’re lazy. But for the moment, we thought it would be a nice gesture to collect the better Marvel and DC covers for December. By the way, have you noticed how good the art is from DC recently? Wow.
On an important note: we are most definitely biased toward computer-enhanced or generated artwork. Yes, that’s counter-intuitive given how much time our site is dedicated to spotlighting vintage comic books. Couple of thoughts on that … 1) we respect the advancement of technology in every era, so even though artwork from two of our comic book favorites, Mage and Rocketeer, may seem flat and less explosive than the slick, highly dimensional art published nowadays, it was cutting edge in its time. The use of 4-color processing, Baxter paper, and mixed media made for some eye-popping nuggets of joy in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. The inventive and non-traditional art that Neal Adams and Mike Kaluta brought to DC in the 1970’s was also a bonifide “wow” in its time. So, progress is good – it means there’s always something around the corner to add to our list of pleasures.
Having said that, while computer enhancement can change a mediocre cover to an interesting cover, it is really the underlying talent and inspiration that is so impressive regardless of the digital influence. Some of the covers we’ve attached have minimal intervention from computer programming and they’re still fantastic. Good art is good art in any format. Amen.
Here you go.