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And when I say “the year” I mean since last year’s comic-con in San Diego.  That’s right, in honor of SDCC 2010, which I am, again, not able to attend I thought I’d do a list of my 52 favorite covers since last year’s comic-con, so essentially July 2009 – July 2010.*

I’m not going bore you with lengthy descriptions about what I respond to in each image, but if you frequent this blog with any regularity, the choices will not surprise you.  My tastes skew to specific things like anyone, and I reward covers that cater to those personal tastes.  For example, as a woman, I tend to be interested in covers with female characters and at the same time you’re unlikely to see many covers with a lot of objectification and hyper sexualization.  As an artist (but only sorta, and a crappy one at that) I tend to be a bit of a snob about what I think is a good or bad cover – good often involves highly graphic images, lots of great negative space, interesting/solid composition, single figures, white space, and good integration of text into the image.

I’m sure I missed a bunch of great covers anyway and, as always, I never feel great about the order, but I tried my best!

If after this list you only desire to see MORE comic covers, then check out my 100 Best Comic Covers list of last year here, here, here, and here.  As well as my “already second guessing myself” modified list here.

Next year SDCC, next year!

52.  Wonder Woman #40.  Aaron Loprestri.

51.  Batman Confidential #40.  Sam Kieth

50.  Red Robin #3.  Francis Manapul.

49.  Heralds #1.  Jelena Djurdjevic.

48.  Punisher Max: Butterfly #1.  Laurence Campbell.

47.  Batgirl #1.  Phil Noto.

46. Beasts Of Burden #3. Jill Thompson.

45.  Joe The Barbarian #5.  Sean Murphy.

44.  American Vampire #1.  Rafael Albuquerque.

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The following is a selection of comics released this week (7/21/10)* that focus heavily on women in comics – whether that be characters, creators, or even readers.

The books are rated as BUY, TRADEWAIT, or SKIP.

*It should be noted that this list will focus on North American/English releases as that’s mostly what I have access to.  Additionally, as I am in general unfamiliar with Manga, I will not be including Manga titles in my lists.  For some great reviews and discussion of Manga titles I urge you to check out Danielle Leigh on CSBG.

Notably missing this week is True Blood #1, co-written by IDW editor Mariah Huehner and which I am very anxious to check out but which was either sold out or missing at my shop.  Also missing was Welcome To Tranquility #1, and Tiny Titans #30.  Bummer all around, but hopefully I can pick them up next week. It certainly occurs to me that these inconsistencies in my comic shops (I went to two today) could be perhaps solved by digital solutions in which I am the only one in charge of what’s available to me or not…well, beyond what the companies make available of course.  It’s a powerful argument for digital to me.  Also, I have books that I definitely prefer to have in print, but there are many books I’m interested in reading but not terribly interested in “having forever”, so if digital was available to me easily and same day (and I had a reader of course) and for a cheaper price, I suspect I would try more stuff and only buy the stuff I know I love in print but purchase a significant amount digitally.  In some ways I prefer to have the collected trades for stuff I really love anyway, as that works better from a convenience standpoint of books sitting on book shelves as opposed to jammed in short boxes.  Digital v. Print is a tough thing for me though as I don’t like the feeling that’s often put out there of it being “either/or”, but I confess that digital seems appealing to me in the same way that individual songs instantly accessible on itunes are.  Time will tell.

BLACK WIDOW #4.  Marjoirie Liu (writer).  Daniel Acuna (art and cover).  Marvel.  32-pages. $2.99

This is a really good book…so good that I’m dreading the creative team switch after issue #5.  Acuna’s art is gorgeous and is a perfect fit for this suave noir-y spy story.  I love it.  Liu’s story is working well, definitely a bit mysterious and cryptic (Natasha IS trying to solve a puzzle of course) but she’s giving me enough story and reveals in each issue to keep the momentum.  As usual with Black Widow stuff I find it a bit cryptic for my tastes sometimes, but that’s my only complaint.  This is a great book.  Certainly the star of Marvel’s “year of women” push as far as I’m concerned.  BUY.

DV8 #4 (of 8).  Brian Wood (writer).  Rebekah Isaacs (art). Carrie Strachan (colors). Fiona Staples (cover).

We’re halfway through the series and it remains one of my favorite monthly books, if not THE favorite.  I confess this issue was my least favorite of the series thus far, but I think that’s likely to do with the fact that it focused heavily on Matthew/Threshold who has always been the least accessible DV8 character to me.  This issue does its best to help me (and others?) get inside his skin a bit, but it’s still tough for me with this character.  Additionally there was some slightly clunky storytelling in Gem narrating things she couldn’t possibly have seen or known…it didn’t bother me in previous issues, but here it stuck out a bit.  Still, easily the best comic I read this week, as usual.  BUY.

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Here are the “rules“.

And if you’d like to see the full October 2010 DC solicits head over to CBR.

Adventure Comics #519.

Superman: “And if all my other superpowers don’t work on him then I’ll just drop this tractor on him, that’s what I’ll do!  See if he can handle this gosh darn tractor!”

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A year ago I posted a list of 100 of my favorite Comic Book Covers.  But as with any list…as soon as you hit publish you can’t help but think what you’ve missed.  I’ve been thinking a lot about what I missed and regret not including that first time around, so I decided, in honor of San Diego Comic Con 2010 and the three year anniversary of this blog, to give you the “15 Covers I Wish I’d Included”.

Now, some of my second guessing came immediately after locking the list (where was Skottie Young?) others came up later and some even from discussions others were having about my list (to say some discussions were more civil than others would be a massive understatement).

The biggest legitimate complaint I heard about the list beyond certain creators being missing was that there wasn’t enough diversity – and I agree.  I don’t know if these covers will remedy that, but I think at the end of the day I’ll feel better about the list as a whole once it’s been modified.

The most interesting thing that happened while I was revising my list was the order.  I was never that convinced that even if I had the right covers that I had them in the right order, and doing these new 15 really proved that out – because when I looked through the covers I didn’t feel confident just lopping off the last 15, instead I went through and picked out all the ones I was reconsidering, and replaced them.

In keeping with the rules of the original list, I limited this list to US saddle stitched issues – so you won’t find any graphic novel, anthology, or non-US covers here.  And since comics from July 2009 to July 2010 weren’t eligible for the first attempt, I didn’t let them in this time either (but I do have a fun post for those ineligible covers coming up soon).  As was true of the original list, the revised list continues to skew hard toward X-Men, badass chicks, some nostalgia and iconic imagery.  What can I say?  We all like what we like.  🙂

You can find the original 100 here, here, here, and here.


Catwoman 19.  Javier Pulido. This Pulido cover looks like Cooke to me…but it’s not (see the update below) Regardless, what sells it for me, and why I think it belongs has more to do with this being a moment I have YEARNED for in comics, and that Pulido managed to turn it into a really iconic lasting image.  The image of Batman and Catwoman, still masked, kissing on a cover is an image that will stay with me forever thanks to the iconic choices made here.

Update: I originally wrongly attributed this cover to Cooke…and honestly, if I tried 1,000 more times I’d still think it was Cooke’s work…but regardless it’s not and apologies to both Cooke and Pulido as well as to commenter Stuart that pointed out the error.

The cover it’s replacing?  #95 – Kick-Ass #1 by John Romita Jr.

This was honestly the easiest cover to remove from list as I was never entirely convinced that it belonged there in the first place and I’m not personally a huge fan of John Romita Jr.’s style.  It’s a solid cover, but does it belong on a 100 Favorites List?  Not mine.

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