Best Cover EVER? David Frankum

Published On November 1, 2014 | By Richard Bruton | Best Cover EVER?, Comics

Every week we ask someone to pick a cover they love and tell us why they love it. And for that week it becomes the best cover ever. No arguing. No debate. For seven whole days that IS the Best Cover Ever. Then next Saturday it gets deposed, as there’s never really going to be a Best Cover Ever? is there? (you can find every previous one here.)


This week it’s the turn of David Frankum, an illustrator/artist/designer who has provided artwork for a number of various publications including such comic publishers as Top Shelf, FutureQuake, Zarjaz and Massacre for Boys. I particularly enjoyed his mashup Zenith / Invasion collaboration with writer Chris Denton in first Zarjaz 12 and most recently in DROKK!

David has recently provided illustrations for the well received novel Strangelands & Troublesome Things by Saraha Coe.

Strangelands and Troublesome Things Sample illustration

So, without further ado, here’s the cover David has declared Best Cover EVER…

tintin bk cov blk.island_0050

The Adventures of Tintin: The Black Island by Herge.

As soon as I was asked to pick my “Best Cover EVER”, this one immediately popped into my mind. I can remember very vividly, paying a visit to Gillingham library when I was four years old with my father. On entry, my father turned left to the “boring” books, whereas I turned right to the children’s section. Immediately, the cover to The Black Island jumped out at me amongst the hundreds of books on the shelves. Enough so to stop me in my tracks. I was instantly captivated by the huge sense of adventure, mystery, excitement and drama within this beautifully drawn image. What four year old boy wouldn’t be?

“Why is this man in a skirt going to that menacing looking island? It looks a little scary. Even the dog looks very unsure. Are those Vultures flying towards him? What’s on the island… and why is he wearing a skirt?”

I was sold there and then. I HAD to read it and find out what was going on behind the cover.

I hadn’t read a Tintin book before but, from the moment I opened the book, the world around me faded away as I became immersed in Tintin’s adventure. It was probably one of my first comic book experiences and, despite not being able to understand or read all of the words at that age, it was an exciting experience. I’ll never forget it and I haven’t looked back since.

It’s fair to say that this book left a massive impression on the four year old me. After reading this book, again and again, absorbing a little more with each read, I picked up a pencil and started to tell my own stories through drawings.

Thirty seven years later, I’m still doing just that.

This cover is very important to me, in many different ways. So much so that I have a reproduction of it in my studio. As soon as I enter, it’s the first thing I see. Whatever the weather, what ever my mood… just one look at it and I’m inspired.

The Black Island Studio


Fancy sharing your Best Cover EVER? Let us know @fpinternational or @richardbruton

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

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