Thursday, December 23, 2004

Nominate, don't hesitate

I'm one of those beautiful people who sees an australian comic buys it, no matter the content, no matter the cover. (please don't send me emails offering me $50 australian comics - that only worked once).

But covers are important, in the overcrwoded environment that is the comic shop, covers play an important role in attracting browsing readers. In Australian comics this is even more so important since there is a lack of name recognition or marketting for the stuff local people release.

Now the actual ledger award is for Favourite Cover Artist but i don't think there would be many artists working locally who would have done more than 2 covers in the year. I'm also ignoring the Woods, Templesmiths, Wilsons, Chaloners because 1)they already get their limelight and 2)I'm only familar with Ben's Singularity 7 covers.

So looking at the covers of this year, which ones looked good and gave me a sense of what the book is about?

Cover Design

Hairbutt the Hippo; Soft Boiled Tales - Jason Paulos
Stylistically its got some nice line work, good use of colours, a van goghey background but the cool thing is you know what type of book you are getting with a cover featuring a mean looking hippo holding a smoking gun - humour and violence. The other thing I like is that if the comic is racked like at a newsagent (half the cover hidden) the browsing customer will still see either the title "Soft Boiled Tales" or the cover image and in both cases get the gist of the book.

Knightesdge #3 - Gary Lau
The actual reproduction is a bit grainy if you get the magnifying glass out, but bloody hell, its a dude licking a bloodied sword - this isn't an adaption of Breakfast at Tiffanys. The smart inset of the hero and lover on the cover gives a nice hint of danger and romanace too. The colours pop something fierce of the rack. Top Notch.

BellyFlop - Nathan Soehardi
2 colour printing at its best and look how cute it is! The perfect shades of blue and a great use of text. i think the only problem is that in a rack, with the title halfway down, this mini-comic would just look like a square of blue. That out the way - look how cute it is!

Bloom - Matt Huynh
The kids would say that the colouring on this is 'da bomb', then those kids would get punched for sounding like an old man trying to be cool. There's so much cool stuff going on; the sun, the moon, the flying lightbulb, the bunny rabbit, the HORDES of sheep, a nice sense of movement showing a sense of 'journey'. It seems random but it all ties in nicely, plus its a thick shiny stock which is always nice.

Once Upon a time - Various
The actual image is pretty - it does show its an anthology with all its little thumbnails, its not incredibly eye popping but the border around the thumbnail draws in the eye, and as i said in the Design category - i do like the glossiness and
thickness of the cover.

I didn't mind the Watch covers by McKenny, the individual images themselves don't do much for me but in concert they look ok - giving a sense of evolution, and the margins are a good design feature.
Artistically, Reed's Crumpleton covers are good, but a bit too detailed and subsequently busy to distinguish on the rack. And though self serving Sommariva's cover for Issue 3 of the OzComics Magazine is hard to go by.

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