At your everyday comics convention, artist Max Field encounters a fan named Julia. Julia extolls the magic of comics and her deep fandom for his work and proceeds to buy a number of originals. A fairly normal day at a convention.
That is, until Max encounters Julia again at the next convention. Over an expensive dinner, Julia reveals that she works for the CIA in recruitment. Shortly into the dinner, Julia takes a call and disappears. Not long after, back at home, Max receives an offer to do a convention in Istanbul, all expenses paid, and he seizes the opportunity. But when Max lands in Istanbul, he once again encounters the enigmatic Julia waiting for him.
There are certain comics in all our lives that we purchase and just simply know that we are holding something special. For me, a few include such landmark issues as The Authority #1, Preacher #1, Superman #75, Identity Crisis #1, Civil War #1… the list goes on. For the generation before me, it was Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, “The Demon Bear Saga”… you get the point. Cover #1 has the feel of a comic that we’ll be talking about for decades to come. This issue is the real deal.
In terms of the approach to showing the raw inside of the comics industry from the perspective of those who are on the front lines, Cover does a remarkable job of highlighting the oddness of the life of a commercial artist. The jet-setting to locales for conventions set against the solitary life of the artist. The myriad of encounters with fans, both die-hard and casual, is well represented, not in a snide way, but in a very real way.
The functionality of the art by the brilliant David Mack in this issue is a thing of beauty. Staying within the confines of traditional page layouts, Mack manages to also subvert and contort those conventions to create a distinct and recognizable voice. Moments in which Max is sitting at his table and creating yield to cut-out silhouettes that blur the lines between reality and fiction, art and artist, producer and consumer. There is a narrative flow to the shifting styles of representation on the page, moving from dulcet tones to vibrant colors, from simple and clean lines to the strokes of a brush, and back again. The versatility in Mack’s art borders on an uncanny presence between the covers. We recognize this art as comics art, but at the same time, it isn’t. It’s more and less all at the time.
To see the digital coloring credit go to Zu Orzu surprised me. If you handed me some of these pages cold, I would have assured you they must have been done by hand. The subtle work of letterer Carlos Mangual should not be understated either. The carefully selected bold words through the dialogue serve to mimic actual speech patterns. I’ve frequently seen the bolding of a word uses indiscriminately, but here is done with purpose.
Where the story goes from here will be interesting to see. There is a feeling one could compare to 100 Bullets in that no matter how big what is happening seems, there’s a shadow of something even larger looming, just out of the periphery.
Cover is a masterful book with which I found no flaws. Jump on board now and witness history in the making.
Cover #1: History in the Making
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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