Over on THE SOURCE, The DCU is celebrating 75 years of DC Comics by revealing a bunch of amazing variant covers. But these aren’t just any variant covers, they are of some of the most classic and iconic images from DC’s illustrious history re-imagined by some of the biggest names in the industry.
Well, GRAPHIC CONTENT couldn’t just sit back, so, along with THE SOURCE and THE BLEED, we’re all taking a look back today. We’ve asked some of our current writers and artists to pick their favorite DC COMICS cover, be it from the DCU, Vertigo or Wildstorm and tell us what it means to them.
So, without further ado, let’s read what they have to say!
My favorite cover would be ANIMAL MAN #5. Grant Morrison's early Vertigo work blew my mind in a way no comic ever had. And this issue of ANIMAL MAN, and this cover in particular, are perfect examples of the craziness and irreverence that inspired me to wanna write comics of my own. –Jason Aaron, writer SCALPED
Ronin Book One - Frank Miller. The comic shop was small and dark, located in the mall's basement, and this book, high up on the wall in the back, kept calling out to my 10-year-old brain. The color and design promised something strange and new, and when my older brother finally bought it, it didn't disappoint. For me, comics couldn't just be about superheroes any more. --Cliff Chiang, artist NEIL YOUNG’S GREENDALE
My fave is this or any other Basil Wolverton cover for PLOP Magazine from the 1970s (though Sergio Aragones designed the boarder images). I bought every issue of this title JUST for the cover, with no regard to what was inside -- the ONLY time I bought something regularly for the cover alone! --Peter Bagge, OTHER LIVES
I'm going to go for GREEN LANTERN #70, which I think dates from 1968. The cover, which was by Gil Kane, showed a tall, slender, subtly inhuman alien standing over the body of Green Lantern, and lamenting "But I only wanted to make him laugh... not die!!" The cover itself, which I saw long before I ever got to read the story, suggested in itself some terrible cosmic irony, and it preyed on my mind to the point where I must have gone through a couple of dozen scenarios in my head before I got to read the actual issue. That was what reading comics was like for me as a kid: an explosion of ideas vivid enough to derail reality. My mind was psychotically focused to the point where the actual story was sometimes frustrating because it killed a million possible alternatives. And cover artists played shamelessly to my demographic by producing images which were sometimes only tangentially relevant to content... --Mike Carey, co-creator and writer, THE UNWRITTEN
So many covers to choose from. Really impossible to choose a definitive favorite. There are so many contemporaries who light me up today, and so as not to alienate any of them I'll dig into the farthest deepest corners of my little kid memories to the Rose Elementary School carnival where I threw a fishing line over a wall and pulled back a rolled up copy of TEEN TITANS no.17 with a very psychedelic trippy character called the Mad Mod. Like a british and ghostly King Kong he loomed over London with Wonder Girl, Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad in his gigantic grip. It blew my mind Daddy-O! And continues to resonate in my fevered brain today. --Mike Allred, co-creator and artist I,ZOMBIE
KAMANDI #28 APRIL 1975 Art by JACK KIRBY
I missed all Jack’s DC comics in the 70's. DC imports were hard to find in the UK and I was only 8 when this came out. However in the late eighties, whilst I was at college and working on small press strips in my spare time, my friend/collaborator Chris Ski gave me a bunch of Kirby's DC comics. KAMANDI #28 was one of them. I fell in love immediately with it's style, dynamics and the vast cast of animal characters. This comic has been a treasured possession ever since. It frequently influences my work, most obviously in FABLES : THE GOOD PRINCE. As I write this it is still sat atop a pile of comics next to my desk. –Mark Buckingham, artist FABLES
SHADE THE CHANGING MAN #1 drawn by Brendan McCarthy. I know it’s terribly self-indulgent, but I’m going to choose a cover of one of my own books, by the inimitable Brendan McCarthy. It’s number one of Shade The Changing man and it brings back so many memories, not least of travelling across America looking for the “madness” of the country. I remember Brendan telling me he was putting in some Twin Peaks style picket-fences, representing the surface normality that the book so feverishly ripped apart. I don’t think he’d even seen the show at the time… --Peter Milligan, writer HELLBLAZER and THE BRONX KILL
ANIMAL MAN #5: The Coyote Gospel
Not just because of the amazing Bolland imagery that launched the most well-known meta-story arc in comics, but also because The Coyote Gospel is one of the most important single issues in my development as a creative person. This comic book still speaks truth directly to my soul. –Josh Dysart, writer UNKNOWN SOLDIER and NEIL YOUNG’S GREENDALE
SUPERMAN RED SON 3. I can’t tell if it’s my favorite DC cover ever, cause, well... I haven’t seen them all, but I saw this one a long long time ago, and it’s still fresh in my mind, even after all those years. Dave Johnson is a complete master on the cover art craft, and the way he uses design, colors, and comic language here, is just too phenomenal. –Rafael Albuquerque, artist AMERICAN VAMPIRE
Favorite cover? It's a tie- Dave Johnson's 100 BULLETS cover for the Once Upon a Crime trade paperback and issue #98 of 100 Bullets! Graphic, incredible and iconic! Dave Johnson is the best cover artist out in comicsland!” –Jill Thompson, DELIRIUM’S PARTY: A Little Endless Storybook
This one--not because it showed the "shocking truth about drugs!" but because when I was a young kid reading comics, Neal Adams was the first artist that really blew me away and made me realize there were actually real artists with names who drew these books. I devoured everything I could find by Adams and my goal of being a comic artist was set! –Peter Gross, co-creator and artist THE UNWRITTEN
My favorite is BATMAN #205. This included everything essential on the cover but completely broke the mold of the covers that came before and after. Totally stands out, even today. –Matt Kindt, REVOLVER
My favorite DC Comics cover was Joe Kubert's first DC Tarzan cover. I'd always been an Edgar Rice Burroughs fan and to see his greatest character realized so wonderfully in the comics format was just a special moment for me. And this issue was contemporary with a terrific DC Renaissance. Neal Adams and Denny O'Neal were doing their run on Green Lantern and Green Arrow. Jack Kirby had just come over to DC to do his Fourth World. It was a magic moment for DC in particular and comics in general. --Bill Willingham, writer FABLES