In ‘Covers Album’ each Wednesday we ask comics creators, publishers and commentators to pick three of their favourite comic covers …but with a small twist. One must be chosen for aesthetic reasons, one for inspirational reasons and one for pure nostalgia!
This week we kick off with Broken Frontier’s Editor-in-Chief and newly announced owner Andy Oliver…
Aesthetic Choice: Lost Property (2015) by Andy Poyiadgi (Nobrow Press)
Andy Poyiadgi’s Broken Frontier Award-winning short story Lost Property from Nobrow Press was a long-awaited and eagerly anticipated offering when it arrived on shop shelves in 2015. Poyiadgi certainly didn’t disappoint his audience and proved once again his unparalleled ability to craft the most delicately understated yet intensely profound comics narratives.
What constantly draws me to this image is the way in which it conveys the gentle fragility of his tale of a postman’s journey of self-discovery (when he encounters a strange lost property shop that contains every item he has ever mislaid). There’s a quiet visual eloquence to it; a sense of the extraordinary masked in the mundane, of being on the cusp of an epiphany, and an exquisite and alluringly subtle use of colour. Just sublime.
Lost Property is available via Nobrow’s online store here.
Inspirational Choice: Tick (2011) by Rebecca Bagley (Self-published)
Rebecca Bagley is one of Broken Frontier’s ‘Six Small Press Creators to Watch in 2016‘ but she also has the distinction of being the first self-published creator I actively championed in BF’s ‘Small Pressganged’ column. In some respects her first longer-form comic Tick looks a world away from her current illustrative style but this tale of a lost little steampunk-style mechanical man trying to find his place in the modern world is still a beautifully poignant read.
This cover captures that sense of isolation and purposelessness that Bagley’s haunting story embodies. It’s a simple but effective image and it caught my eye immediately back in 2012 when I first met her when she was tabling at the Spring Comica Comiket. It’s an inspirational cover for me because in the very early days of my small press coverage here it brought home with immediate effect the quality of self-published work out there at the time going largely unseen on comics review sites. Without Rebecca Bagley’s Tick who knows whether ‘Small Pressganged’ would ever have existed in its current incarnation?
Nostalgic Choice: Amazing Spider-Man #131 (1974) by Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia (Marvel Comics)
After two somewhat subdued and thoughtful covers here’s my nostalgic choice and it’s a busy, frantic whirlwind of a cover from the Conway/Andru 1970s Amazing Spider-Man era. Imagine being 7-years-old and being confronted with the cliffhanger ending the issue before of Spidey stumbling in on dear old Aunt May marrying the nefarious Doctor Octopus! Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia provided this instant classic image full of cover copy, speech balloons (and oh how I miss those on Marvel and DC covers!) and a brilliantly dodgy semi-pun. Better still, the story inside was titled ‘My Uncle… My Enemy?’.
Below is how it appeared to those of us on other shores (i.e. me!) back when Marvel UK were in their “landscape comics” phase…
You can follow Andy Oliver on Twitter here.