Well here in the 3rd week of 2012, thought it was an appropriate time to put out my best and worst of 2011 Comic List.
I personally love looking over best of and end of year lists, and my own lists, tends to touch on a lot of things that may be bypassed or overlooked or just not tried, in other lists and on other sites.
True to the eclectic nature of this blog, my lists are always… never less than unique. 🙂
So let’s get into it, and enjoy!
We’ll start with the best covers of 2011! We’ll start with the 4th quarter of 2011 in this post and work our way backward to highlight the other 3 quarters as well.
Without further ado:
The number one cover artist for 2011 Qrt 4 (From Oct1-Dec31) is JH Williams the 3rd, with his gorgeous, stained glass worthy BATWOMAN covers. How he manages to write, do the amazing interiors he concocts AND do the covers is beyond me. It’s award winning work (at least art-wise, I trade wait for most DC comics, so will be a while before I read it. But if it’s half as good as BATWOMAN:ELEGY HC, one of the most gorgeous books of 2011, it will be a treasured buy).
But right on JH Williams III’s heels as my favorite cover artist of Qtr 4, is John Tyler Christopher. A brand new name as far as I can find, his covers on DC’s VOODOO are just stellar! And he also produced a couple issues for Marvel’s Annihilators: Earthfall. I have no interest in buying Marvel Monthly comics (too expensive, too many ads, too few pages) but they did produce a few decent covers in 2011, and the artists deserve recognition. DC’s VOODOO however, I think I will be picking up in issues. The interior artist is Sam Basri, a fantastic cover artist in his own right, with a stellar run on POWER GIRL in 2011, so combine him with John Tyler Christopher’s covers and it’s win/win.
Viktor Kalvachev is next up with his fantastic covers for the soon to be short lived MEN OF WAR. His covers are gorgeous set pieces, seemingly run through with Russian Constructivism aesthetics. Objective and often geometric forms carrying universal meanings, and striking use of color, primarily red. Definitely a cover artist to watch.
Next up is Francesco Francavilla covers on BLACK PANTHER along with DARK SHADOWS and CAP & BUCKY. Being a fan of most things pulp I quite like the mood Francavilla’s covers strive for. I’m a detail guy, so that’s the only reservation I have against the slightly cartoony covers, but overall they work for me. His pulp-tinged composition and layout skills winning me over.
Now for the rest:
Chris Bachalo for WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #1- just wonderfully laid out cover. I hear good things about this book, but I don’t pay $4 for a comic, period. I’ll wait for the trade, an affordable trade. Meaning I don’t pay $4 per issue in trade format either (another crazy business decision Marvel has been cutting their throat with). If the trade breaks down to an outrageous amount per issue, I wait till the price drops, or I don’t get it. One less X-MEN book for me to buy, is not a bad thing. There’s more than enough great books out there that are priced right.
Ben Oliver for BATWING #3. Hearing nothing but great things about this series. At $2.99 I’ll be picking it up monthly.
Patrick Zircher for VILLAINS FOR HIRE #1- I enjoy this artist’s layouts, his shot composition, but his lack of backgrounds tends to weaken them a bit. In this one he has Andry Troy assisting, and it is Zircher’s best cover of 2011.
Rico Renzi for LOOSE ENDS #3. I hate the logo on this book, but ignoring that, I like Rico Renzi’s actual art.
Marko Djurdjevic for Avengers Origins: Ant-Man & the Wasp #1
CASANOVA #2 (from Marvel’s ICON imprint) gets Gabriel Ba on the list.
Daniel Acuna for AVENGERS #19. It’s easily the best of the covers he did this quarter. Meaning it, like all the ones I give praise to here, I would buy as a poster.
Alex Ross only did 2 covers for this quarter, one was for ULTRON and it was one of the rare Alex Ross covers that I didn’t like. However the 2nd one was FLASH GORDON ZEITGEIST. and that as you can see for yourself is masterful. When Alex Ross is on his A game, there is none better. Easily one of the best ones of the quarter.
Nathan Fox gets on the list with his only cover of the quarter, HAUNT #19. Wonderful composition, the typography really sells it.
Eric Larsen for SAVAGE DRAGON #177.
And Finally Steve McNiven for CAPTAIN AMERICA #5.
That’s it kids! The best covers for 2011 quarter #4! Come back as we complete the list for the remainder of the year!