If creating memorable comic covers was a game … Erica Henderson played to win:
While most superhero comic covers follow a stock template (here’s the logo, here’s the main character doing something exciting, here’s an extra exciting blurb or two), the form is actually quite malleable. You can have, for example, a main character crushing the logo, or the logo incorporated into the illustration, or any number of other permutations. According to the creative team of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, one of those permutations is trashy romance novel cover. And you know what? They’re not wrong.
This feels like a cover that involved both artist and writer, as the mash-up of artist Erica Henderson and writer Ryan North’s names near the top of the cover suggests. but Henderson’s sparkly, Fabio-esque hunk does the majority of the heavy lifting. He draws your eye (a hunky sensitive man? in MY serious superhero comics?), and only after you’ve finished processing the cover’s visuals do you read its words. Then, you wonder what the heck is happening inside this weird-looking comic book.
So much of creating good superhero comic covers is about standing out from the pack. Because again, there’s a template to these things, and it’s easy to just work within that template and fall into the trap of looking like every other book on the stands. With this cover, Henderson and co. set themselves apart from the rest of the comics on sale in July 2016, and they got me to buy my first single issue of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
(Want to check out more posts in the Cool Comic Covers series? If so, click here.)