Resonant #1, Vault Comics, Cover art by Alejandro Aragon
For the second week in a row, a new comic from a small publisher is the POP Cover Of The Week. If you’ve been following this feature, you know that the cover choices are based on more than just a pretty picture, but on the overall combination of all the cover elements: the main imagery, the trade dress, and the graphic design. There are lots of well-illustrated covers every week, but if the rest of the design is ho-hum, well…it just won’t make the cut. If there’s clever symbolism or a metaphor that represents the story inside, then that’s worth lots of bonus points! Resonant #1 has all these things going for it, and more.
A decade ago, a phenomenon affected the entire world’s population, causing everyone to begin acting on their darkest impulses, and global chaos reigns. Every design element on this cover refers to the story, starting with the main image of a sly looking, monotone purple preteen holding a finger to their lips: “Ssshhh.” Perched on their finger is a cicada (also known as a locust, as in Plague of Locusts), freshly shed out of its shell. The cicada shedding its old self and becoming something else, is an apt metaphor for the transformation of the human race into something else, something evil. It's mid-July here in Virginia, and cicadas are in everyone’s backyards shedding, and singing loudly. But they cannot sing right away, not until their bodies and wings harden and turn from bright green to brown. And when they do sing in unison, it can be deafening. The person shushing us knows this is about to happen and wants us to be ready and wait for the noise/chaos to begin.
The comic’s title is a synonym for the cicada’s/mankind’s new disturbing cacophony; the logo is designed to be loud and chaotic, with a jagged sonic wavelength in the “O” in RESONANT. Even the logo’s yellow-green and red colors vibrate against each other, causing further tension. The names of the comic’s creators also share these clashing colors, with first and last names overlapping each other, as if they are fighting for control. The top third of the cover (the trade dress) is wonderful, unconventional graphic design.
All of the colors on this cover work in concert to communicate disorder, and that all is not right in the world. It even has some zipatone effects added in the face’s shadow areas: Retro Bonus! I love this cover, can you tell?
I can’t wait to read the story.
Resonant #1 is on sale in comic shops Wednesday, July 17, 2019.