Now that Jonah Hex V2 is in the can, I thought it would be fun to visit the covers and pick the ten best. Here are your panel of judges:
Me: Collecting comics since around 1966 and in all honesty I pick up a book because Jonah Hex is IN it, not what is on the cover. My tastes are going to lean more to what is extraordinary for a Western comic or just a comic in general.
Eldest Son: Shoots and edits video for a living so has a sense of composition and balance. Is a comic book reader so has a feel for what makes a good comic book cover.
Carl: Graphic designer. Looks at the books through a critical eye picking out what makes a good design. Also reads comics but hasn't read any Jonah Hex.
Lovely Wife: Is aware of what a comic book IS. What she brings to the table is how a cover will impact someone just strolling through a comic book shop. Does this cover grab a non-reader into making a purchase? Also, Wife & Carl can't be swayed by a good story inside that might make me think a cover is better than it is.
I took everyone's top ten, assigning 1 point to the lowest rank and ten points to the highest rank. I then compiled the totals and we ended up with a few ties. To break the ties I looked at which cover placed higher on Lovely Wife's ranking (because getting a new reader in is the best thing) and then I took into account Carl's ranking (because he's a professional graphic designer and should know good design).
Here then are the top ten covers along with relevant comments:
Tenth Place 9 points: #11 "The Hanging Tree"
Carl: Dark and Powerful
Ninth Place 10 points: #70 "Weird Western"
Me: Very powerful, the sun 'burning' past the girl and the subtle hole in Hex's chest. This book screams that it wants to be opened and read.
Eighth Place 11 Points: #39 "Cowardice"
Eldest: The coloring and layout on this one make it stand out. It's far more cinematic than any other cover (with even the credits being "above the line").
Me: The black bar titles that make the interior of this book so unique is brought to the cover. The poses are dynamic and it has a great use of black space.
Seventh Place 11 Points: #62 "The Package"
Tie broken by Lovely Wife: It's just damn weird
Me: The black and white and evoking the tintype style pose is fantastic. On top of that, Hex seems so at peace amongst the circus freaks and that says so much about the character and makes me want to read the book.
Lovely Wife: What kind of trouble are these two going to get into? It makes me want to read the book.
Eldest: As Megan Fox-tastic as this cover is, I love the art. Also, it feels like someone just chased this girl downstairs only to promptly realize that he's about get get effed up buy a guy with a look on his face that says, "I dare you."
Fifth Place 13 points: #6 "Goin' Back to Texas in a Box"
Tie Broken by Lovely Wife: Somewhat comical
Me: NUNS WITH GUNS!! Actually, this cover has great lines, the razor and Jonah's eye draws you across the page to see the white of the nun's hat. But much more than that, NUNS WITH GUNS!!!
Eldest: I love this one because it feels like a baddie glanced over and saw this view, then promptly crapped his pants. Also, if you don't like Darwyn Cooke I'm 87% you're a communist. BETTER DEAD THAN RED!
Me: There are a dearth of winter westerns and this one fills the bill nicely. How deep is that snow? How long has Hex been there?
Third Place 15 points: #25 "My Name is Nobody"
Eldest: This one just says "I am a badass and will destroy you" Also, that guy clearly wasn't dead a second before this cover was drawn.
Carl: It has the perspective where the viewer is looking up at Jonah from beneath, very strong.
Me: The curvature of the buildings, the sun behind Hex, all of this makes me think of this entire cover is looking out the barrel of a gun. Plus, the details of the spades on the buttons and looking at the number of notches on the gun of the dead man shows just how good Jonah Hex is at his job (as well as ruthless since he's shooting a man that is already down)
Second Place 18 points: #50 "The Great Silence"
Lovely Wife: There is such an empty feeling presented through the muted tones. I want to know who is buried and why is there such emotion evident in Hex's body language.
Me: A very very quiet cover for a very violent book. Knowing the character, this cover demanded that I buy it and read it first.
First Place 25 points: #9 "Gettin' Un-Haunted"
Lovely Wife: The contrast between the black and white and the red is great. The movement draws your eye across the cover. This cover is full of 'whys', why is the little girl with him, why is he using a sword, why is he killing those men.
Carl: I like issue 9 the best because for starters is 2 color and stands out, the illustration tells allot and shows movement, action and emotion.
Eldest: Black and white covers with color splash can be done extremely well or just look silly. This is the former. The near perfect blood trail line draws your eye through the picture and even serves to direct you back to the DC logo and title.
Other covers that were chosen? From highest to lowest: 35, 18, 13, 36, 26, 5, 28, 66, 8, 42, 41, 20, 16, 10, and 2
Thanks to Grand Comic Book Database for the cover links and thanks to me for figuring out that hot-linking is a bad thing. DUR!!!