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Judging by the Cover - 1/3/18 new releases

Comic Books

Judging by the Cover – 1/3/18 new releases

Jason and Eric select the best covers from this week’s new comic releases.

Most comic book fans have a pretty good idea of what they’re going to buy every week when they visit their local comic shop. With that said, there’s still a lot of fun to be had just glancing at the week’s new releases and taking a chance on a book that looks promising. That’s where covers come in-a fantastic image can make the difference between trying something new or saying, “Nah, not this week.”In that spirit, here are the covers that captured AiPT! Podcast co-host Jason Segarra and contributor Eric Cline’s attention this week.

Jason’s Picks:

The Walking Dead #175
Art by Bill SienkiewiczJudging by the Cover - 1/3/18 new releasesSo I’ve been reading The Walking Dead for more than 10 years and, if I’m honest, I’ve never really paid attention to the covers. Charlie Adlard’s a perfectly fine artist, and I’ve enjoyed his interiors for more than a friggin decade–but look at how much personality Sienkiewicz pulls out of Rick in this image. There are hints of pride, madness, joy and concern that you can read on his face, and the juxtaposition of the yellow, nearly jaundiced figure with his striking blue eyes makes for compelling imagery. Sienkiewicz is a legend and covers like this show why he’s been a force in the industry for 30 years.

Black Bolt #9
Art by Christian WardJudging by the Cover - 1/3/18 new releasesTypically, I’m not into the action-heavy covers, but this thing is fantastic. I love BB’s reflection in Cap’s shield, I love this artistic representation of Bolt’s power as it tears at the exposed bits of Rogers, and I love the more muted color scheme of this cover. It also calls to mind Todd McFarlane’s iconic cover to The Incredible Hulk #340, which may be one of the best and most celebrated images in comics. So, you know, good company. Not McFarlane himself, who appears to both run a and be bad company.

Secret Weapons #0
Art by Sija Hong

Judging by the Cover - 1/3/18 new releasesLook, I’m not going to pretend to know anything about the Secret Weapons series. I know it’s being written by the guy who wrote Arrival and it’s some kind of futuristic sci-fi adventure, but honestly none of that matters. Just look at this thing. This is an art piece that could hang in a gallery, not just a shelf. The muted ukiyo-e-style illustration from Sija Hong calls to mind the watercolor Final Fantasy illustrations of Yoshitaka Amano, which evokes all kinds of nostalgic feelings for me personally. Honestly, if I can’t find a print of this, I may have to start reading this series just so I can catch any guest shots from Hong in the future.

Eric’s Picks:

Rise of the Black Panther #1
Art by Brian Stelfreeze

Judging by the Cover - 1/3/18 new releasesBrian Stelfreeze’s beautiful cover tells the titular character’s life story. We see T’Challa as a child standing alongside his father, and it’s literally part of what makes (the image of) the grown T’Challa who he is now. The blues, violets, reds, and greens are all beautiful, and the pink petal details are simply divine. The presence of additional figures around T’Challa and his father is also a great touch, as they help to visually communicate the high expectations placed upon T’Challa as he took on his father’s mantle. Said mantle’s legacy is further embodied by the panther statue in the right corner. Overall, this cover is just stunning. Not only is it an amazing piece of artwork, but every inch is covered in a thought regarding who (and why) its central subject is.

Star Wars #41
Art by John Tyler Christopher

Judging by the Cover - 1/3/18 new releasesI’m not a diehard Star Wars fan, so I don’t know who Zuckuss is. To be honest, I don’t care–I just know he looks badass on this cover. Action figure variants can be hit-or-miss for me, but John Tyler Christopher’s work here is a total hit. Zuckuss’ design is delightfully over-the-top, both when simplified into a toy format and when rendered in the highly detailed background image. I want to know what star this character is warring on (but please, no phantom menaces or clone attacks).

Hero Cats #20
Art by Andy Duggan

Judging by the Cover - 1/3/18 new releasesAndy Duggan’s work here is just delightful. I’m really picky when it comes to covers that pay homage to other covers, but this works. The newer cover is far enough removed from the source material to not just feel like a lazy rehash, and the juxtaposition in subject matter is hilarious. The attention paid to mirroring the original cover’s posing is fantastic, as is the inclusion of the upper left corner box with all the characters’ headshots. Really nice work all around.

Jason and Eric’s Joint Pick:

In a “Judging by the Cover” first, there was one cover this week that both of our participants agreed stood out as one of the best. The cover in question belongs to…

Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #1
Art by Ben Caldwell

Judging by the Cover - 1/3/18 new releasesJason: I haven’t been all that into DC’s reimagining of Hanna-Barbera creations into more modern, often adult-oriented characters for discerning consumers (that Flintstones series, in particular, was a trip), but painting Snagglepuss as a foppish Tennessee Williams-esque southern Dandy is inspired. Also inspired, this awesome cover from Ben Caldwell, which is instantly iconic and speaks to the political nature of the series’ agenda as a voice for the gay community. The pose, the glass, the latin inscription (Murgatroyd to the sky?)–it’s all so classic and perfect. Whether the series itself is any good remains to be seen, but this cover is aces.

Eric: What Jason said. This image manages to pull off that double-effect that only the best parodies can: It works fantastically as a joke while also feeling completely earnest in its own right. The composition calls to mind both the American dream and the struggle resulting from its being unfulfilled. It’s a whimsical plea for freedom, as well as a biting jab at the lack of it. This cover is like a visual version of one of Oscar Wilde’s plays on words, making a serious point through the use of unapologetic flippancy. It’s brilliant, even!

Do you agree with these picks? Let us know in the comment space below!

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