Here’s a great Bruce Timm drawing of Death from Neil Gaiman’s excellent series The Sandman (and her own, eponymous series, I suppose, although if you read either and enjoy it, you owe it to yourself to read the other). Timm is a wonderful artist. Not only did he completely revolutionize children’s television by proving that you could have a minimalist style and still make it beautiful and interesting to look at, he genuinely understands that sexiness is more a matter of what characters look like they should be doing measured against what they are doing. So it’s much more fun to have a character who looks like she stepped out of a ‘fifties beauty magazine in a one-piece bathing suit with a smirk on her face than it is to just show nudity or sex.

Here’s Kevin O’Neill’s magnificent cover to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century—1969. This book has gotten better and better, and the recent conclusion of this volume was maybe as good as it’s ever been. Moore really seems hell-bent on writing a good story all the way to its conclusion; in a lot of ways, it’s the best thing he’s ever written, though it takes some serious work to get into. I’m hoping he keeps it going through at least another two volumes so he ends up owning the longest thing he’s written.

Geof Darrow drew this as the cover for his beautiful miniseries Hard Boiled, with Frank Miller writing. It’s terrific. It’s got that schizoid thing that Miller uses so often (fragmented dialogue, overlapping trains of thought, heavy irony about consumerism), but it works very well with Darrow’s ultra-clear, incredibly busy linework as a running counterpoint, rather than Sienkiewicz’s sloppy-gorgeous visual evocations of the same ideas, which are just as effective as direct expressions of the same lines of thinking. This and The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot (just as good) are both well worth the purchase price­—they look short, but believe me, you’ll spend much more time poring over the artwork than you will reading the dialogue.

Here’s a page from Tom Strong #14 by Chris Sprouse, a wonderful artist who took over on Supreme and left the book with Moore after publisher/creator Rob Liefeld’s backers pulled out, leaving the publisher in limbo for several years. Moore and Sprouse reworked the Supreme stories they’d been working on and a pitch for another Liefeld character called Prophet into Tom Strong and it’s some of both creators’ strongest work.

Probably no one is going to tell you that Dave Gibbons isn’t a fabulous artist, but most people think his magnum opus is Watchmen, when, for my money, you just can’t beat his and Frank Miller’s absurd reworking of Atlas Shrugged as an SF satire, Martha Washington. Let me be clear: I hate Ayn Rand. She was an idiot and she’s done irreparable harm to American conservatism. But her shitty novels make great sci-fi as long as you pull all the forced speeches and goofy straw-man caricatures out of them, and Miller, for all his quirks, is a pretty astute satirist.