Sunday, June 24, 2012

Redesigning Marvel Premiere Classics

Last week Trey Causey sent me a link to some flicker images where a graphic artist by the name of CalamityJon has come up with some fantastic looking redesigns for the DC Archives.

Here is an example of his amazing redesign of the Flash Vol. 1 Archive:

For comparison, here is the original design that DC is currently using:

Quite an improvement! Seeing that got me to thinking that the Marvel Premiere Classic line of hard covers could benefit from such a makeover. Here is what they currently look like:

First the Bookstore edition:

And the version you will find in your local comic shop:

Here would be my redesign for the Project Pegasus hardcover showing the back cover, spine and front cover. One of the chief improvements I feel I've made is to make the back cover artwork more engaging.

 You can click the image to see the full sized version.

Here's another example of an existing MPC for John Byrne's run on Captain America.

First the local comic shop version:

And now my version.

Lastly, here are two designs for two MPC collections that DON'T exist, but I think should.

Spider-Man: FutureShock (a classic Marvel Team-Up storyline that I have mentioned here before )

 And one for the Fantastic Four's adventures on Counter Earth from the late 70's (a great storyline with art by George Perez)

I don't know if or when Marvel will ever get around to collecting these last two, but I eagerly await them - even though they will invariably have the same lackluster covers the others in the series have. ;)

- Jim


Anonymous said...

That Fantastic Four cover is sweet!

Reno said...

I agree. Those Marvel Premiere covers are really, really boring.

I like your designs, although IMHO it would be better if they were sans word balloons to keep the clutter to a minimum.

CalamityJon's design reminds me of Chip Kidd, but cleaner and simpler.

I think those MTU issues were among the first Spidey stuff I read. I even looked up Cotton Mather in the encyclopedia to see if he was a real person. He was, but I was really disappointed when he looked nothing like his comic book counterpart. :)

MattComix said...

What I like most about these redesigns is that unlike the actual versions they aren't squeamish about showcasing the fact that it's a collection of comicbooks! Yes, big bold brightly colored comicbooky comicbooks, loud and proud!

The CalamityJon designs and yours totally celebrate it and as a result are a hell of a lot more interesting to look at.

JimShelley said...

@Anonymous - Thank you!

@Reno - Man, you have no idea how much I wrestled with going with all covers with no word balloons. Part of me wanted to go that way, but part of me sort of liked the idea of the word balloons on a book cover.

@MattComix - You nailed the exact aesthetic I was going for! Like you, I always look askance when I see a collection of comics that seems to be trying to hide what it is.

Blitzdawg said...

I like the DC Archive covers for only one thing- the art deco design really harkens back to the era that Superman (and Batman) were born from. But for a Silver Age Flash- it doesn't work.
And your mock-ups of the Marvel covers are a 100% improvement over what the "house of ideas" is pushing right now. Colors, sound effects, characters- it just screams "at least pick me up and look through me if you're not gonna buy me!" Nice work!

JimShelley said...

@Blitzdawg - Thank you! I'm glad you like them. I wish there was a way to recover some of the collections I have with my covers.


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