"Manor Black #1" cover by Tyler Crook
Manor Black #1, Cover art by Tyler Crook, Dark Horse Comics.
This POP Cover Of The Week features something different: an extremely limited color palette, simple metaphors, and a bold, handbrushed title logo.
Manor Black #1 from Dark Horse Comics was the cover that reached out and grabbed my attention the most. Artist Tyler Crook chose a red monotone approach for his metaphorical portrait of a young mage chosen by the patriarch of the Black family to succeed him, instead of his wicked and corrupt children.
Foliage grows out of the young mage, symbolizing a new family tree sprouting and taking root. The patriarch enters the doorway of the Manor, superimposed in the mage’s head, representing their joining and becoming family. The background is solid black, creating a bold contrast with the reds and whites.
The cover’s graphic designer gets half the credit for this being chosen POP cover Of The Week, because it’s the combination of image and trade dress design that makes the grade here, not just a pretty picture. The trade dress (the comic title logo, issue number, credits, etc.) appears in stark white, popping off the black and red background. The comic title is graphic and attention-getting, a jagged, handbrushed beauty that communicates the tension and conflict of the interior story. It occupies half the cover’s area for maximum impact, even bleeding off the edge of the cover, as if it cannot be contained by the book's dimensions.
Normally, a review testimonial would be considered an intrusion on a well-designed cover, but in this instance, the quote has been so elegantly created and placed, it doesn't feel ugly or out of place. It serves as an exclamation point on a striking POP Cover Of The Week.