The following is my response to Kelly Sue DeConnick’s blog post:
Kelly - While I did start answering this in the Disqus panel on your blog, it soon became its “own thing”, so I wanted to be sure it was worth your valuable reading time…
I believe the cover design is an important aspect to the buying process - it is the “1000 words commercial” for the entire book, especially to a new reader. I don’t do this so much any more, but when I first started collecting/reading, I would buy almost completely on what caught my eye in the store or online.
As I think back, I have always loved summing something up in a phrase - you know, taking something with seemingly miles of depth and labeling it with something witty and informative. Images do this automatically, and thus, so do Comic Covers.
In fact, some Comic Review sites rate the Comic Cover separately as a part of the rating system, with as much weight as the interior art and/or the story - as all three things combined create the experience we have as readers/collectors.
It is also important to note that many people “just collect” - and they are “just collecting” primarily based on covers. Much like collecting trading cards, comic covers offer an oversized version of something familiar and meaningful to the collector.
Which brings up another thought - VARIANT Covers. These are purely for the collector. Many of them are retailer incentives, which cost the collector A LOT more money than what they may have bargained… for EXACTLY the same story - but something slightly more collectible. In this case, the cover makes or breaks the buying decision - will I spend the money for a 1:100 variant? Sure, if it is great art and encapsulates the story in a different way than the standard cover. People spend $100s of dollars a week on variants (think AvX).
To that end, and to answer the question you posed directly to Readers - I have picked up a comic soley based on its cover.
The variant cover for AvX Round 4:
by Jerome Opena.
In fact, it was this cover that made me want to collect all the other 1:100 variants for AvX.
Variant aside, if I saw that cover in the store, and didn’t know anything about the book itself, I would definitely want to find out more.
I also want to take the time to underscore how great the covers for your run on Captain Marvel are - seriously. The symbolism alone makes them interesting. Which is another aspect that is important about a cover - symbolize either the story, or something iconic related to the story.
I could likely go on, but I want to make sure this keeps to the task.
Thanks for reaching out and asking this question. It has truly inspired me!