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Showcase Of Brilliant Comic Book Cover Art

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From Rudolph Töpffer and Wilhelm Bush’s precursors to modern-day incarnations, comics have been a large part of popular culture for generations. Growing over the ages through contributions to the genre from Christophe Chabouté, Angelo Agostini and, of course, Richard Outcault, this then-revolutionary new way for artists to create and deliver a narrative exploded throughout the art world, leaving a lasting mark that would mature over the years, morphing into a mainstream artistic medium. Today, with a more stylized focus on heroic tales and dark worlds beyond the imagination, this genre continuously churns out amazing artwork from some extremely talented artists.

In this inspirational installment, we look at some of the wonderful works over the years that have graced the covers of comics — art that has delighted and dazzled fans and non-fans alike from shelves and displays across the globe, the kind of works that tempt those not usually taken by this genre to give it another look or to pick up a book for the first time. We feel these impressive feats that draw this kind of attention and inspire this kind of adoration deserve a showcase, so we proudly present examples of brilliant comic book cover art!

Spoiler Alert! Link

Britta und Colin – Yglinga #2
Cover Art by François Bourgeon

Yglinga #2

Bone – Rock Jaw: Master of the Eastern Border, Volume 5
Cover Art by Elizabeth Lewis and Jeff Smith

Bone

Batman: The Killing Joke – #1
Cover Art by Brian Bolland

Batman: The Killing Joke

A1 #3
Cover Art by Brian Bolland

A1 #3

Daredevil # 97 – To the Devil, His Due, Part 3
Cover Art by Marko Djurdjevic

Daredevil # 97

Broken Trinity # 2
Cover Art by Stjepan Sejic

Broken Trinity # 2

Jonah Hex # 5
Cover Art by Tony Dezuniga

Screenshot

100 Bullets # 62 – Staring at the Son, Part 3
Cover Art by Dave Johnson

100 Bullets # 62

Dead of Night, Featuring Devil-Slayer # 1 – One Foot in Hell
Cover Art by June Chung

Dead Of Night Featuring Devil-Slayer # 1

Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness # 3, Part 3 of 5: Night of the Livid Dead
Cover Art by Arthur Suydam

Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness # 3

Moon Knight # 8 – Midnight Sun, Chapter 2: The Dead Don’t Stay
Cover Art by David Finch

Moon Knight # 8

Faker #1
Cover Art by Mark ’Jock’ Simpson

Faker #1

Zentak 3 – Digital Nation
Cover Art by Olivier Deffieux

Zentak 3. Digital Nation

Les Désarmés #2
Cover Art by Michel Pirus

Les Désarmés #2

X-Men # 190 – Supernovas: Part 3 of 6
Cover Art by Chris Bachalo

X-Men # 190

Y: The Last Man # 55 – Whys and Wherefores: Chapter One
Cover Art by Massimo Carnevale

Y: The Last Man # 55

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 8) # 2 – The Long Way Home, Part 2
Cover Art by Jo Chen

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 8) # 2

Angel: After the Fall # 11 – Chapter 8
Cover Art by Alex Garner

Angel: After the Fall # 11

Zero Girl: Full Circle # 2
Cover Art by Sam Kieth

Zero Girl: Full Circle # 2

Iron Man # 32 – With Iron Hands, Part 4 of 4
Cover Art by Adi Granov

Iron Man # 32

Manhunter # 17 – Who’s Your Daddy?, Part 2: Fear and Loathing
Cover Art by David Lopez

Manhunter # 17

The Vinyl Underground # 11 – Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down
Cover Art by Sean Phillips

The Vinyl Underground # 11

Hellblazer # 225 – The Red Right Hand, Chapter 2
Cover Art by Leonardo Manco

Hellblazer # 225

Captain Britain And MI:13 # 5 – Hell Comes to Birmingham, Prologue
Cover Art by Bryan Hitch

Captain Britain And MI:13 # 5

X-Men # 177 – House Arrest, Part 1 of 3: Losing It
Cover Art by Salvador Larroca

X-Men # 177

Watchmen # 4 – Watchmaker
Cover Art by Dave Gibbons

Watchmen # 4

Kid Eternity # 2
Cover Art by Sean Phillips

Kid Eternity # 2

Grant Morrison’s Doctor Who # 1 – Changes, Episodes 1 and 2: Culture Shock!
Cover Art by Robert ’Hack’ Hacker

Grant Morrison's Doctor Who # 1

Echo # 2
Cover Art by Terry Moore

Echo # 2

Runaways # 1 – Pride and Joy, Chapter 1
Cover Art by Jo Chen

Runaways # 1

Ex Machina # 25 – Standalone
Cover Art by Tony Harris

Ex Machina # 25

Druid # 2
Cover Art by Leonardo Manco

Druid # 2

Marvel Knights Spider-Man # 21 – The Other: Evolve or Die 8/12 – Aftermath
Cover Art by Pat Lee

Marvel Knights Spider-Man # 21

The Ultimates # 13 – How I Learned to Love the Hulk
Cover Art by Bryan Hitch

The Ultimates # 13

Werewolf by Night # 6
Cover Art by Leonardo Manco

Werewolf by Night # 6

The Invisibles # 14 – Day of Nine Dogs (Sheman, Part 2)
Cover Art by Sean Phillips

The Invisibles # 14

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America # 4 – Depression
Cover Art by Michael Turner

Fallen Son, The Death of Captain America # 4

Astonishing X-Men # 6 – Gifted, Part 6
Cover Art by John Cassaday

Astonishing X-Men # 6

Faker #4
Cover Art by Mark ’Jock’ Simpson

Faker #4

Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter – Guilty Pleasures # 4
Cover Art by Brett Booth

Anita Blake Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures # 4

The Darkness, Volume 3, # 6 – Empire, Part 6: Daybreak
Cover Art by Stjepan Sejic

The Darkness - Volume 3 # 6

Daredevil # 76 – The Murdock Papers: Part 1
Cover Art by Alex Maleev

Daredevil # 76

Last Click Link

One of my personal all-time favorite comics has got to be Wolverine. So I couldn’t compile a list like this without throwing in some of the covers that have inspired me through the years. So, the last click is a nod to a series whose artwork is as fantastic as its stories.

Wolverine # 180 – Everything’s Zen
Cover Art by Andy Kubert

Wolverine # 180

Wolverine # 165 – The Hunted, Part 4
Cover Art by Sean Chen

Wolverine # 165

Wolverine # 187 – Down the Road
Cover Art by John McCrea

Wolverine # 187

Wolverine: Origins # 2 – Born in Blood, Part 2
Cover Art by Bryan Hitch

Wolverine: Origins # 2

Wolverine: Origins # 10 – Savior Conclusion
Cover Art by Joe Quesada

Wolverine: Origins # 10

Wolverine: Origins # 28 – Dark Deception: Prologue
Cover Art by Mike Deodato

Wolverine: Origins # 28

Resources Link

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Smashing Book #5

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Rob Bowen is a staff writer for Web Hosting Geeks and Top Web Hosting, a longtime freelance designer, and burgeoning videographer and filmmaker whose creative voice and works can be heard and found around the web.

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  1. 1

    fantastic list , excellent
    http://www.reecall.com

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  2. 2

    Some cool artwork, but not my type of art :)
    kupen.net

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  3. 3

    nice list. i love marvel. i wish i could create art like that.

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  4. 4

    Good compilation, but I think you forgot to include some of the best like Simon Bysley’s “Slaine”, Barry Windsor Smith’s “Weapon X”, and a very long list of great covers.

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  5. 5

    Can’t seem to find any Conan-covers..

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  6. 6

    I agree with that… some Conan covers, please!!!

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  7. 7

    galaxyspectrum.com

    November 28, 2008 6:05 am

    Does brilliant have to limit itself to death, torture, agony.

    Some comic art can be peaceful, loving and uplifting and still be brilliant.

    There is just so much real life horror over the holidays – that one feels like a break every now and then

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  8. 8

    no way, James Jean’s not in the list???

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  9. 9

    lo mejor de lo mejor en comics, se nota que leen noveno arte

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  10. 10

    Where are the Fables covers?! You could pick one at random and it would be better than 90% of these. They’re really that good. Link http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/fables

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  11. 11

    There definitley should have been alot of Alex Ross in there

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  12. 12

    While you included the Watchmen cover of issue 4, I can’t help but think that the cover of the compilation, the huge smiley with the drop of blood on it, would stand out even more. Also, V for Vendetta or one of the From Hell covers would have been cool, too.

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  13. 13

    I do only agree on some of them. And where the heck is Mike Mignola’s Hellboy in that list, or at least some cover from Frank Miller?

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  14. 14

    Sorry, don’t like this kind of comic. You know Lucky Luke? He is one cool guy.

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  15. 15

    where’s sin city, dudes?

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  16. 16

    No Umbrella Academy?

    Some great stuff on this list, just a lot of crap too. Angel, Echo, Jonah Hex, I don’t think so…

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  17. 17

    where is everyones fave kangaroo shagging beer swilling harpy Tank Girl? Some of the original covers for Deadline were amazing

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  18. 18

    Thomas van Zuijlen

    November 28, 2008 7:53 am

    Some nice covers, there, but what a shame that there doesn’t seem to be any common thread or theme to this collection! Some context would have been a great addition worthy of Smashing Magazine… I’d rather see a smaller number of covers that are well assembled than such a plethora of strongly varying material.

    I would think that the “100 Bullets” covers of Dave Johnson merit an entire post by themselves, for example, and the same can be said about James Jean’s work on “Fables”. And that’s just two comic book series that are very recent examples. By zooming in even slightly on a theme, series, or concept, we’d get a much better view of the different ways artists can use the space of one page to convey a story – – and sell it at the same time.

    Nice to see a spotlight on comics and comic art. Here’s hoping for a follow-up!

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  19. 19

    very nice thinks!

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  20. 20

    Great selection.
    A lot of comics too many “BD”, though.
    What about covers of the serie called “Les cités obscures” (http://recherche.fnac.com/s233/Les-Cites-Obscures) or even the cover of “La marque Jaune” (http://multimedia.fnac.com/multimedia/images_produits/ZoomPE/2/0/1/9782870970102.jpg) ?

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  21. 21

    oh. wow, nice cover collection.

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  22. 22

    Not sure if this is SM worthy… not a whole lot of inspiration for me personally.

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  23. 23
  24. 24

    One name. Bill Sienkiewicz.

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  25. 25

    I see some Vertigo comics, but no Sandman covers, which is kinda odd I think. They present interesting themes and often nice typography in their always brilliant covers.

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  26. 26

    I love all of these covers but I think you could have included a Dark Tower cover (Marvel), some of those, in my opinion, are amazing.

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  27. 27

    Nice showcase! And, hey that’s Joker cover art looks familiar.. check my avatar haha!

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  28. 28

    Obvious ones not here for me are “V for Vendetta” (with “him” on the wall, cape out) and “The Dark Night Returns”.

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  29. 29

    You guys forgot the famous Todd MacFarlane Spiderman cover

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  30. 30

    Alejandro Yanaculis

    November 28, 2008 11:49 am

    What? No Jim Lee? I think you missed both the covers of X-Men #1 and Wildcats #1, both are beyond awesome!

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