I don’t remember what blog I was looking at the other day, but I came across a comment from CBR’s Augie De Blieck, one of Dave’s Top Five Favorite Republicans.* Augie mentioned artist Jerome K Moore and how he doesn’t seem to get a lot of work in comics these days despite his awesomeness and how that’s a damn shame.
After some admittedly half-ass Googling, I found that Moore did some inking work in various titles, and recently did a JSA trade paperback cover, but other than that, not a lot. I’m hoping/guessing that Moore is alive and well and is working in fields other than comics. Some times we geeks forget that it is possible and indeed desirable for comic artists to work in other industries. Let’s face it, unless you’re one of the big dogs, you’re never going to get filthy rich drawing comics. The pay is better in the Real World.
So I’m hoping that Jerome K Moore is alive and well and pulling in a fat paycheck doing concept art or advertisements or something like that, because the guy is a frickin’ ninja!
I’m basing my opinion solely on the run of remarkable covers that he did on DC’s Star Trek comics during the nineties. Holy shit, those covers rule. Take a look at the cover for Star Trek: The Next Generation Annual #2. Moore manages to make Riker look more like a stud and less like Wolfman Jack, something that could never be accomplished onscreen.
The great B-movie producer Roger Corman said that one of the most important elements of his direct-to-video films was the DVD and VHS covers. Once you get somebody to pick up, say The Arena based on the cover, it’s almost incidental as to whether they actually like the film. You got their money; mission accomplished.
The same goes with comics, really. I’m sure that there are many who would disagree (because they’re stupid), but covers help sell comics. Jerome K Moore’s excellent cover art enticed me into buying more than a few Star Trek comics despite my better judgment, and more often than not, the interior contents did not live up to the promise of those wonderful covers.
Check out this cover from Star Trek #26. It’s what we would call an “iconic” cover nowadays because it really doesn’t illustrate or even hint at the actual story inside, but rather it is representative of the series as a whole.
One could criticize Moore’s covers for being overly photo-referenced, but I would argue that in this unique case, when you’re trying to capture the look of the Star Trek actors, a little photo-reference isn’t a bad thing. I think the tight line work, the composition, and the clever design of these covers speak for themselves. If only more artists put as much energy into the design of their covers as Jerome K Moore does, the world would be a happier place.
Thus ends my song of praise for Jerome K Moore, one of the more under-appreciated artists working in comics. I raise my proverbial glass of scotch to Moore, and hope that he’s raking in the cash working in fields where his true awesomeness is appreciated.
Again, Jerome K Moore is a frickin’ ninja.