We just experienced the miraculous calendar-amending phenomenon known as a leap year, or as Tini Howard put it, a time to break rules and get weird. When looking over the slate of upcoming March comic book covers, it dawned on me that most artists break one aesthetic law with alarming regularity: the rule of thirds. Created by painter John Thomas Smith in his 1797 book Remarks on Rural Scenery, the rule of thirds dictates that visual points of interest in a photo or piece of art should lie at the intersections where certain vertical and horizontal guidelines intersect. The guidelines are spaced in thirds, hence the name. (It’s easier seen than explained.) In broader terms, never place a subject in the center or edges of a frame, lest your liberal arts professor refuse you an invite to his spring merlot mixer.
Jack Kirby didn’t care about this rule. Nor does Brian Bolland. And Osamu Tezuka simply couldn’t be bothered with it.
Instead, comics indulge in a huge, blatant explosion of visual activity in center frame—which can be said for many covers of many magazine formats. This tactic allows a potential reader to gain a simple understanding of what the interior content holds in just a few seconds. Checking out Aaron Kuder’s Superman #50 artwork, Sana Takeda’s Monstress #4 cover bound to confuse countless adolescent boys and Dan Clowe’s gorgeous Patience cover, it’s safe to say that breaking this rule isn’t the worst decision a professional artist can make.
Other eye candy in March includes a delicious Weirdworld invitation from Mike Del Mundo, a haunting Alabaster piece by Greg Ruth and work by two Dark Horse artists who are all about the rule of thirds, which is totally cool, too.
The Best Comic Book Covers of February 2016
The Best Comic Book Covers of January 2016
1 of 16
Action Comics #50 Cover Art by Aaron Kuder
2 of 16
Alabaster: The Good, The Bad, and The Bird Cover Art by Greg Ruth
3 of 16
Batgirl #49 Cover Art by Babs Tarr
4 of 16
Deadly Class #19 Cover Art by Wes Craig
5 of 16
Descender #11 Cover Art by Dustin Nguyen
6 of 16
Fight Club 2 #10 Cover Art by David Mack
7 of 16
Hellboy and the BPRD: 1953—Beyond the Fences #2 Cover Art by Paolo Rivera
8 of 16
The Legacy of Luther Strode #5 Cover Art by Tradd Moore
9 of 16
Monstress #4 Cover Art by Sana Takeda
10 of 16
ODY-C Cover Art by Christian Ward