Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hoopla! - Episode 32: The Museum of Crappy Comic-Book Covers...

Hello and welcome to Hoopla!

The new solicitations for DC and Marvel books coming out in November have come out and I'm slightly under-whelmed. Not many new projects worth getting excited about, and a load of butt-ugly covers...

In honor of how crappy a lot of this stuff looks, I've decided to do an homage to some of the worst covers that will be on display in November...

Join me, won't you?

The above is a nice, generic crappy cover to start us off... what I particularly like about this cover is that I can't tell which characters I'm supposed to be looking at (Who's the guy lying in the corner? Who's the green guy? Who's the floating head at the top?), where they are, or who is fighting whom. Sure, the blue person is clearly fighting the dressed-in-red person, but what's the green person doing? Is the floating head involved in the fight or simply watching from afar? Why are there so many bats? Is one of these characters somehow related to Batman, or is it a red herring?

Who knows?

In this cover, from Batman and the Outsiders #2, I can at least tell that Aquaman is in the story, as well as Batman's torso and head, and Catwoman's butt. I think there are a couple of other characters too, swirling in the vortex that seems to be spreading from Aquaman's right hand, but I can't be sure.

Then there's a rocket that seems to be roughly the size of Catwoman's head. I don't know if the rocket is aimed at them or where they are or why Batman is floating behind the rocket or what the big explodey thing behind Batman is supposed to be. The sun, perhaps? Or why there are bubbles along the lefthand side of the cover. Maybe this is all taking place underwater? Or why Aquaman's hands are doing whatever it is that they're doing.


The idea behind this cover isn't so bad... using just red and white to get some kind of effect. The main problem, aside from the fact that it's ugly, is the weird shape that Kyle Rayner is shooting at. It sort of looks like he's gotten into a fight with the Red Maple Leaf from Canada's flag.


Again, the concept here isn't so bad... who wouldn't want to read a story about Black Adam being bitten by Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, and whoever that guy in the corner is supposed to be? The problem here is that it looks like it was drawn by that guy who sat in the corner next to you in high school scribbling Heavy Metal album covers.

And the purple. The purple is a problem. It's so... deliberately purple. So very, self-consciously purple. And I have to wonder... why?

"So, I have this great concept for a Midnighter cover... it's going to be this sort of amateurish drawing of the Midnighter... and most of his hand!!!"

This cover isn't nearly as bad as some of the others, but I think it warrants recognition because two members of this team have the Power Girl-patented chest-window... and one of them is a guy with a hairy chest!


I'm guessing his super-power is that he makes people standing next to him really, really uncomfortable...

"I'm not going to look at his hairy chest-hole, I'm not going to look at his hairy chest-hole, I'm not going to look at his hairy chest-hole..."

Worst. Drawing. Of Robin.


For one thing, he's absurdly tall. His torso alone is taller than Aqualad.

Then there's the way his face is drawn... like a mentally challenged Richie Cunningham.

The best thing about this cover, though, is that the generic uniformed green-and-yellow guys aren't quite looking up high enough to see the Teen Titans... they're sort of looking at their knees. And at each other. And they can't quite muster up the sense of shock that they're supposed to be portraying.

"Hey, Bob, you see that? The Teen Titans' knees and feet just teleported above us."

"Yeah, I see that. Huh. Weird."

When in doubt, go with the classic "straight line" pose. Not only is it visually dull, it's also a bit confusing. What are they supposed to be standing on?

And is Krypto yawning? Bad, dog, bad!

I actually kind of like the above cover... it's interesting and colorful. My only problem with it is that I can't tell what the hell that thing is. A robot? A monster? A weird giant dog?

No clue.

But, despite this one major flaw, it's still a million times better than any of the others...

Finally, in the interest of helping to cleanse your pallette after that painful journey through the dregs of comic-book cover art, I offer you the following...

Yes, it's Dr. Octopus having tea and biscuits with Aunt May and Spider-Man. And, please note, Dr. Octopus is using his tentacles to serve the tea. Very nice.

And then, finally, this...

Ahh. I'm starting to feel better already.

NEXT WEEK: Every time I try to anticipate the contents of next week's column, I wind up being completely wrong. So, this time I'm not going to promise anything at all.

Does that mean that next week's column will have everything?

Be here next week to find out...

- Paul

1 comment:

Hulk. Not THE Hulk; just Hulk said...

I already know what next weeks Hoopla will be about because I can see into the future. So that's helpful.