To celebrate the gorgeous visual innovation occurring in comic stores online and off, Paste selects its favorite comic book covers every month. Here were our picks for December and November.
I never quite realized the impact that multimedia approaches and textures can add to cover art. If Dave McKean didn’t outright invent the trend, he certainly ushered it into the mainstream with his Sandman covers. The inclusion of paint, ink, sculpture and textures adds a weight and ambiance that simply eludes two-dimensional illustration.
Matt Kindt’s cover to MIND MGMT #30 definitely recalls that same degree of sheer tangibility. His piece merges various bits of eraser shavings into a face, punctuated by parallel cuts made from two pink slivers. Light pencil shadings and some faint blue lines flesh out the undertones. The best part of the cover isn’t necessarily the workbench thrift of using basic components in a novel way, but the fact that the image still completely retains Matt Kindt’s signature aesthetic without missing a beat. He conveys the same melancholy and elegance as he does using any other traditional tools.
On a more terrifying note, Ben Templesmith’s cover to Gotham By Midnight #3 also packs a load of visual information aside from the terrifying nun occupying the center of the frame. The background features sepia and dark brown brush marks layered underneath a semi-transparent texture of cracked paint or scales. On top of everything, antiquated symbols and arcane equations cast a 19th-century air of mysticism. With these added elements, a horrific, contorted image of a childhood authority antagonist warps into something deeper, weirder and infinitely more distressed, belying a history through literal material decay. You don’t even need to open the book to know that this book is scary as hell.