It’s time for a new recurring article series here at BW Media Spotlight. It’s time to not just complain about a pet peeve of mine but do something about it and I need the drawing practice as well. So introducing our newest feature……..
One of my pet peeves are covers that are just pin-ups and do nothing to tell the story inside. This happens far too often lately but it’s not like the 2000s invented it. Back when comics were an anthology of mostly related stories this made sense. I even give #1s a little slack as they’re selling an entire series. But even some of them are just people standing around trying to look cool. I’ll do more of a rant tomorrow (so catch it before Thanksgiving festivities, or possibly after it) in the Art Soundoff, but the short version is that a comic’s cover can help decide if the buyer will pick up the comic or not. A cool piece of artwork is good, but a great COVER also says “hey, look at this really cool story that I know you want to read after I teased it”. A pin-up that isn’t a variant cover is wasted marketing, and I don’t need Max to tell me that.
“Re-Covered” is my way of going over some of these pin-up covers and do what the cover artist should have done by drawing attention to the action within, making the buyer curious as to what’s going on and turn him or her into a reader. And I know just the cover to start with, Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #33.
Now there is a formula I want to do with these articles. I give a brief synopsis, like briefer than the review I did of it, and show you the cover they went with, complain how lacking it is and why, and then show you what I came up with. So let’s get started.
Ka-Zar needs the Avengers help on a mission of personal importance…getting a driver’s license while in New York. (Yes, it makes sense in context.) And he’s in town just in time as dinosaurs are running loose in the city (including one T-Rex with a taste for Wolverine meat, and I don’t mean the animal). Can the Avengers and Ka-Zar solve the mystery and collect the dinosaurs, while surviving Ka-Zar’s driving lessons?
This may be one of Paul Tobin’s best stories ever! If only because of this scene:
BEST WOLVERINE ABUSE EVER!!!!
That T-Rex is easily my favorite character in the comic! But what does the cover show us?
Granted, everybody except Zabu the sabertooth tiger shows up in this comic. I’ve seen covers that feature characters not in the book at all. But look at what I told you happens in this story and compare it to this cover. Would you see this cover and think “oh, the Avengers fight dinosaurs and Ka-Zar learns to drive”, and if you wouldn’t immediately grab a comic with that story I weep for you. No, this needs a better cover design. I may not be a better artist…by a long shot…but I can design that better cover. Behold!
You don’t know how badly I wanted to fit some reference to the Wolverine-eating T-Rex. In the end, however, I decided to leave that as a pleasant surprise and focus on the important element to everyone who isn’t me…Ka-Zar driving a car and a T-Rex (yes, that’s supposed to be Tyrannosaurus Rex) loose in the city. If I could have fit other dinosaurs I would have. I also don’t reveal the villain to keep it a surprise and not ruin the story. The important elements are there. T-Rex. Ka-Zar driving. THAT is what Paul Tobin’s story deserved, folks!
And that’s what Re-Covered is about, taking a good story and matching it with the cover it deserves rather than some poster with trade dress on it. Although I just realized I forgot the part at the bottom with the art team and UPC. It’s my first time doing this and getting the trade dress wasn’t easy. Do you know how many of these covers features something blocking the Avengers logo?
So what did you think? Yes, the art isn’t as good but does my design work better than what we got? Let me know in the comments what you thought and if you’d like to see me tackle this again with some more weak covers.