Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cover "Fails" from 1/28/12

 OK, I'm sure I'll get some heat on this one, but this cover just doesn't do it for me. Is it moody? Sure, in spades. But in terms of design, it just kind of sits there. Both elements are almost the same size for no reason. And what's up with the guy? Did someone slip him a ruffie? I mean, if this chick walked up on me, I'd be losing my shit, but our hero seems more annoyed at the situation. Again though, as I stated above, it just doesn't seem much  thought went into the design of this cover. I'd almost have rather seen just the vampire girl.
 One question: Who runs like this? That's it.
 I don't mind a simple cover when it's done right, is rendered in an engaging way, or features a unique subject, such as the Moebius cover I talk about in cover "wins" this week. But seriously, how many covers can you do of a guy (usually Wolverine) holding up his fist with claws coming out before it becomes so hackneyed that it's a joke? Another example is Batman standing on the edge of a building next to a gargoyle. The artist needs to do something unique in order keep me from rolling my eyes, and saying, "Not again!"
 I can forgive the drawing and the coloring, but that photo background is criminal. First, I'll bet you dimes to dollars the artist didn't take it, and second, a cartoon style and photos mix about as well as ammonia and bleach. I did that once as a teenager working in a steak house thinking it would clean the floor even better and like this cover, it did NOT end well.
 Beyond the crazy color job, this is on the list primarily because of the way Ming is sitting. Sitting is one of those things an artist needs to learn how to draw. What's funny is, it's one of the easiest things to take reference photos of. Think about it, chairs are readily available to most people on this planet. Maybe not in the Congo or a few other remote places, but I'm sure the artist was sitting on one when drawing this cover. Also, cameras with self-timers are super cheap. Even if you don't own one, a mirror is always an option. Bottom line, if you're drawing something out of your comfort zone, find reference.
Ming just doesn't look natural.

Well, that's another week down. I hope you guys still realize this are just my opinions I'm presenting here and nothing more.

14 comments:

  1. All of these covers are prime examples of books I would never buy for the cover. The worst thing for me is none of them really tell a story, other than the weird flashing running one...you know, to stop the skull projection chair.
    Keep posting these dave...we need you to save us all.

    jimmy

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  2. Is that Basque Separatist Wolverine™?

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  3. To be fair to the Astonishing X-Men cover, that's an alternate universe Wolverine that has a golden god metal bonded to his skeleton. They have to show off the claws to make readers say, "Hey, there's something different about Wolverine."

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    1. Yeah, but the claws don't read that way, at least to me ... it just looks like the lighting, because the colors on the whole thing are weird. I didn't notice they were supposed to be gold till you pointed it out.

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  4. As far as Ming goes, I can forgive the way he's sitting but the whole thing feels like he's holding a disco ball and experimenting with hallucinogens.

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  5. LOL. Rev is right. The guy in the 30 Days of Night cover looks like he's upset because his little sis got up-chuck drunk.

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  6. Ming's legs seem way to large too, even taking into account for some fore-shortening.

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  7. I like that Flash cover a lot. It's energetic, it's colorful, it's well done.

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    1. I like the Flash one a lot too, the colors are really great. But Dave is right that the figure looks really stiff. And he's so low to the ground it's almost like he's kneeling as he runs.

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  8. Where the fuck is Ming's chair? He looks like he's popping a squat.

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  9. The flash cover is a bad cover. But the problem isnt the posistion the flash is in becaus he isnt running but being pushed back by the force of the blast emmiting from the chair. its still not a good cover becaus it seems most people cant read it right. but his position is sort of correct it just that becaus you are so used to see to speed lines with the flash when hes running that wen you see them around the flash without him running it gets confusing

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  10. The worst part of the photo cover is how hard would that have been to produce as art? I can see using a photo for a city scape or the Grand Canyon or a medieval castle but that's an hours work in Photoshop.

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  11. Great idea for a blog...Gave me a few good laughs. Kudos for having the chutzpah to say what's good, what's bad, and why. I remember another feature a while back that did this, but I often found the criteria given for one cover being bad and another good to be fairly arbitrary and based on the reviewers own tastes rather than their knowledge of composition and design. You've definitely got the chops to back up everything you're saying on here...I just hope I never end up on the "Fails" list!

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