Some folks have noticed the narrow focus of this list of the 50 Best Comic Book Covers of 2009. It doesn’t really bother me, since the awkwardness lies entirely in the list’s name. Throw “Super-heroes” in there, and it’s good to go. And it did get me thinking about the best manga covers of the last year, which turned out to be trickier than I’d expected.
Off the top of my head, I came up with two that struck me as really extraordinary:
But I tossed the question out on Twitter and got a gratifying number of responses. Most intriguing to me was Read About Comics’ Greg McElhatton’s suggestion that “most manga in [North America is more suited to great cover design… rather than great cover art,” going on to note that he’d “certainly never say a single [volume] of Pluto had an outstanding cover, but the whole set looks great together, face-out or spine.”
That strikes me as very true. When designing covers for series, it does seem best to design a scheme that’s flexible, identifiable for the individual title, and still attractive, which is a complex task, and a lot of publishers do it well. So while individual installments may not be breathtaking, the cumulative effect of the series in sequence can be tremendous.
Here are some other favorites from the Twitterati: