Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Paint It Black - Comic Book Cover Love

Doug: Today we're featuring comic book covers with total black backgrounds. These babies really pop! Hmm... anyone see a common theme with the artist on the first three?





 


 

25 comments:

Redartz said...

Absolutely love black covers! You show some great ones. That cover to Amazing Spiderman 28 is one of the most minimal (in terms of imagery ) that I can think of. All black, except for the figural highlights. A Ditko beauty!

Speaking of Amazing Spiderman, that title featured another famous black cover- the renumbered issue 36, devoted to the 9/11 attacks. Featuring a totally black cover with no artwork it is not really in the same category as the examples shown above, but powerful nonetheless.

Edo Bosnar said...

Amazing Spider-man #24 is a classic, and Alpha Flight #3 has one of the most eye-catching covers ever.
The first one I thought of that's not pictured here is Amazing Spider-man #188, an homage to ASM #24 and one of the first, if not the first of these I remember pulling off of the spinner rack.
The Daredevil cover reminded me of Iron Man #150, while another personal favorite is from Atlas/Seaboard's Scorpion #1.

Doug said...

Morning, Redartz!

I actually did consider ASM #36 (volume whatever), but like you say, the absence of a figure kept me from it. But you're right -- it is striking.

Karen and I weren't sure what to do with the Alpha Flight cover featuring Aurora -- is it black with white, or white with black?

Initially I wanted the covers to be totally black, but there are a few very cool ones posted that feature spotlights. Hmmm... maybe another day totally devoted to that?

Also in my research I came across several covers that featured only a figure or figures, but on a colored backdrop (like purple, or yellow, or...). Those were interesting, too!

Doug

Edo Bosnar said...

Gah, I meant ASM #28...

Anonymous said...

Moon Knight 29 by Sienkiewicz! The issue after had a really great black cover too.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Actually, thinking about it, there were a number of black covers in the last part of the Sienkiewicz run on Moon Knight, all good.
And issue 24 is about as striking as single colour backdrops get.

-sean

Humanbelly said...

Warlord #1 sort of sticks in the mind as that kind of cover, even though it's really not-- the action is simply taking place in a DEEPLY shadowed cave entrance. But. . . it did come to my mind unbidden out of the miasma of old memory, so I figured it bore mentioning.

Yeah, Spidey #28 (nicely corrected, edo) should really get some love as an un-sung "Best Covers Ever" contender. That type of image & effect was simply years & years ahead of the cover-art curve. How appropriate that it showed up during Stan's brief "Pop Art Books" promotion, eh?

HB

david_b said...

A few of these are my favs, expecially Titans 25 and DD ish 37. As mentioned a few times.., just give me a simple uncluttered clash on the cover - Not too busy yet conveys the 'spirit' of the issue if not an actual scene. Titans 25 was such a landmark issue, wasn't crazy about the direction it went afterwards, but a huge game-changer for our teen, swingin' hipsters at DC. Luckily I secured a NM copy for only $5 back in the '80s.

Yet a decent, affordable VF copy of FF 112 STILL eludes me, but I only hunt for it a few times a year.

Edo Bosnar said...

Sean, good call on Moon Knight #24 - that is a truly lovely cover.
Otherwise, I also remember a number of those wonderful black covers (or black and white covers) in that series. I think one of the best is issue #25.

Humanbelly said...

Thanks for the links, edo. Gosh, truly lovely covers. I'd forgotten how much I liked Bill Sienkiewiecz before he lost his artistic marbles on New Mutants. (Sorry, that's me honest o-pinion, an' I'm a-stickin' to it!)

HB

Anonymous said...

Flash #163 was the first issue of the Flash's solo title that I ever bought (although I was reasonably familiar with the character from his appearances in Justice League), so I guess that cover did its job. That is, it attracted a customer's attention, piqued curiosity, and got me to buy the comic.

Edo Bosnar said...

Yeah, HB, I'm definitely with you on liking Sienkiewicz's earlier work better than his later, more experimental stuff.
By the way, here's another great Moon Knight cover that kind of/sort of fits into today's category:
#23.

Anonymous said...

I liked Sienkiewicz even more after he lost his artistic marbles. Stray toasters, HB!
And thanks too for adding the links, Edo.

-sean

Redartz said...

Another possible related side topic- Space covers! The black background of space on Marvel Team-up 55 (Spidey and Warlock) is a winner...

Humanbelly said...

Ha! I guess, sean, I'm just whatcha call a hide-bound conventionalist-! (Actually, does anybody call anybody that. . . or did I just now coin it?)

The Kitty Pryde/Wolverine mini from the 80's came to my mind as well (which is not a good thing, in many ways), so I looked it up and sure enough, issue #4 sported the Back in Black convention. The artwork in general for that series was-- how do I put this-- better than I would have expected, but the bar was set kinda low. The cover, however, represents the whole stupid Kitty regressed/reborn as a ninja baloney, so I have trouble looking at it with a clear eye. . .

HB

Dr. Oyola said...

Put me in the more experimental the better camp when it comes to Sienkiewicz.

I am trying to think of some all-black covers I admire.

Not quite all black, but I do love New Mutants 24

Garett said...

Very nice Sienkiewicz covers on Moon Knight. I like his early work in the Neal Adams style on Star Lord and Moon Knight in the Hulk mag, then his experimentation in later Moon Knight, Elektra Assassin, and Daredevil Love and War. One I forgot about that I may pick up to read again is The Shadow. I haven't seen more recent comic art by him that I think rises up to spectacular, but he posts great new and old art on his Facebook page every day. His skills are tiptop, and if he gets the right project he could do super comic art again.

The Prowler said...

"It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black."


The covers that come to mind are not from the Bronze Age. Abstract Studios Strangers In Paradise 19, Francine in a turtle neck in a reclining pose with her hair filling the lower half of the cover and Quantum and Woody's 16. The guys are in a small room, no light and the door is thrown open to reveal the shadowed silhouette of the villain.

OH, what about Daredevil 180? All those clutching hands!!!!

(this space left blank in the spirit of good taste but it was to be filled by a Spinal Tap song).

Anonymous said...

When I saw the Molten Man cover, it reminded me of Web of Spider-Man #62, also featuring Moltey (well, his hands anyway):

http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/36/5101_20060102112753_large.jpg


Mike Wilson

Humanbelly said...

Oo- good call on DD #180, Prowl! Hornhead was kinda prone to this convention, wasn't he? And if not black backgrounds, Miller was still very, very fond of other full-flood color backgrounds. #'s 188, 193 (almost), 202, and 203 are easy to spot in the browser.

Quantam & Woody--- someone recommended that book to me many years ago and I never got around to picking it up. . .

HB

Anonymous said...

Love black covers! Prowl, you beat me to Smell the Glove. None...more...black - indeed!

Tom

Doug said...

By now you all may have figured it out, just because you know how we think around here... HOMEWORK: In a week you'll be able to get your yang on in regard to comics covers. Be thinking!

And for those wondering if I am doing a follow-up to our very fun conversation on guest-star covers from a couple of weeks ago -- yes. Yes I am. And I'll have company. Still a couple of weeks out on that, though.

Doug

Karen said...

I think there should be a separate spotlight post!

That's all I had to say, thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think I have a reprint of that issue of Spidey #28 lying around here somewhere. Covers with predominantly black backgrounds are very striking, the better to attract the attention of the reader.

Hmm, didn't Big John's iconic cover of Thor and the Silver Surfer have a black background too?


- Mike "yellow background" from Trinidad & Tobago.

JalRod said...

Let me add Cap # 155! Loved it as a kid - still do!

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