Comic Book Covers: How To Design A Comic Book Cover

comic book coversSure, comic books are great for reading and entertainment, but they also serve another useful purpose — art.  Since the 1930s, comic book covers have given art a major boost.  By providing a great combination of superheroes and creativity, it is as if comic books have become their own literary genre.

Great comic book covers can serve as both an advertisement for a comic as well as being their own works of art.  Additionally, they can convey a character’s mood, personality, and even movement.  To satisfy your superhero and artistic fancy, let’s take a look at some of the best comic book covers, as well as how you can go about creating your own comic book cover.

Popular Comic Book Covers

Check out the below list of 49 of the most popular comic book covers to date.

  1. Catwoman #55.  Adam Hughes.
  2. Fables #14.  James Jean.
  3. X-Men #1.  Jack Kirby.  047.
  4. Uncanny X-Men #168.  Paul Smith.
  5. New X-Men #116.  Frank Quitely.
  6. X-Men #44.  Andy Kubert.  043.
  7. New X-Men #114.  Frank Quitely.
  8. The Spirit #8.  Darwyn Cooke.
  9. Catwoman #53.  Adam Hughes.
  10. Optic Nerve #2.  Adrian Tomine.
  11. Love & Rockets #31.  Jaime Hernandez.
  12. Detective Comics #626.  Michael Golden.
  13. Watchmen #11.  Dave Gibbons.
  14. Preacher #53.  Glenn Fabry.
  15. Strangers In Paradise #81.  Terry Moore.
  16. Astonishing X-Men #12.  John Cassady.
  17. Detective Comics #27.  Bob Kane.
  18. Love & Rockets #23. Gilbert Hernandez.
  19. Elektra Assassin #1.  Bill Sienkiewicz.
  20. Love & Rockets #5.  Jaime Hernandez.
  21. Catwoman #64.  Adam Hughes.
  22. Black Hole #2.  Charles Burns.  027.
  23. X-Men #101.  Dave Cockrum.
  24. Astro City #1.  Alex Ross
  25. X-Men #190.  Chris Bachalo.
  26. Fables #18.  James Jean.
  27. Astonishing X-Men #2.  John Cassady.
  28. The Walking Dead #48.  Charlie Adlard.
  29. Batman #1.  Bob Kane
  30. Action Comics #2.  Leo E. O’Mealia.
  31. The Spirit #4.  Darwyn Cooke.
  32. Uncanny X-Men #141.  John Byrne.
  33. Batman #648.  Jock.
  34. X-Men #137.  John Byrne.
  35. Top Ten #1.  Alex Ross.
  36. Watchmen #1.  Dave Gibbons.
  37. Acme Novelty Library Presents – Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid On Earth.  Chris Ware.
  38. Catwoman #43.  Jock.
  39. The Last Man #21.  Aron Wisenfeld.
  40. Uncanny X-Men #135.  John Byrne.
  41. Nightwing #124.  Jock.
  42. Detective Comics #745.  Dave Johnson.
  43. Love & Rockets #1.  Jaime Hernandez.
  44. The Walking Dead #19.  Tony Moore.
  45. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1.  Frank Miller.
  46. Black Hole #4.  Charles Burns.
  47. Fables #71.  James Jean.
  48. Uncanny X-Men #269.  Jim Lee.
  49. Batgirl #45.  James Jean.

How to Create a Comic Book Cover

Step 1:  If you do not have a title already, brainstorm some ideas for your comic book’s title.  Then, write the title on the front of the cover.  Make sure that the episode of the comic and the series are both clearly displayed for readers to see.

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Step 2:  You are going to want to put the main character, the superhero, or the star of the comic on the cover of your comic book.  This will make it easy for fans and readers to easily recognize and identify what and who the comic book is about.  This will help make the buying process easier.

Step 3:  A successful comic book cover is going to be one that draws in readers.  You can choose to create a classic, popular, or even funny style for your comic book cover.  However, whatever style you choose, make sure that you include elements in your cover that will help it stand out from the crowd and on the rack.  Do your research and visit a few comic stores, both online and in person, and take a look at some comic book cover trends.  For example, if most of the comic books you see are done in bright colors, you can choose to make a darker comic book cover to ensure that yours will stand out from the crowd.

Step 4:  As you create your cover, make sure that the cover’s content reflects the comic as accurately as possible.  If your cover is too different from the actual comic’s content, this could leave your reader or audience confused.  Often times readers will pick up a book based on its cover and then quickly replace it because the content style is different from what they thought it would be.

Step 5:  As mentioned in step 2, you want your primary characters on the cover.  Draw your primary villain on the cover as well, along with the hero or main character of your story.  This is going to help announce and solidify their presence to the readers.  It will create a sense of mystery and intrigue as well.

comic book covers

Step 6:  If you did not draw the comic contents inside yourself, consider using artwork from the artist who drew the comic on the cover as well.  This will help keep the content matching throughout your entire comic book and give a clear and accurate representation of the theme and the style that you are going for.

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Step 7:  Once you have completed your comic book cover design, go ahead and let some of your friends or family see it.  They will provide some good feedback for you.  Another option is to showcase your comic book cover on a blog or online forum to get some feedback from people who are in your target audience.

Comic Book Cover Tips

Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to comic book covers.

  • Does your cover accurately communicate the tone of your comic?
  • Does the cover correlate with the artwork that can be found inside of the comic?
  • Does the cover let the readers know what genre the comic is in?
  • Is the cover interesting?  Is it going to make people think and want to flip on inside to find out more?

Make Your Cover Stand Out

While, yes, we were probably always told not to judge a book by its cover, comic book covers will play a large role in determining whether or not your readers will pick up the comic book or leave it seated.  To ensure that your comic book cover will stand over, enroll in this course that will teach you how to color comic books using Photoshop.