Uncanny X-Men #175
This was a tough post.
According to the software I use, I have 7,953 comic books in my collection (of which 7,825 are "unique"). The software tracks just about EVERYTHING you could think of, including credits for creators.
I break down some of the categories thusly: If an artist penciled and inked the cover, he is listed as "Cover Artist" and if two different individuals penciled and inked, they get "Cover Penciller" and "Cover Inker" credits.
John Byrne is listed as "Cover Artist" for 263 of my comics, "Cover Penciller" for 107 and "Cover Inker" for 4, a total of 374 comics (about 5% of my whole collection!)
George Perez is listed as "Cover Artist" for 227 of my comics, "Cover Penciller" for 73 and "Cover Inker" for 17, a total of 317 comics (about 4% of my whole collection!)
No one else comes close. It made sense to look at their work....and there are LOTS of good covers from both of them....
X-Men 128 George Perez (p) Terry Austin (i)
X-Men 113 John Byrne (p) Bob Layton (i)
X-Men 137 John Byrne (p) Terry Austin (i)
Plus there are a slew of new comic book artists who produce work that is "art", just gorgeous paintings or dynamic action shots.....Joao Ruas, Alex Ross, Alex Maleev and James Jean come to mind.
But so many covers these days have little to nothing to do with the story inside.
Unlike the Uncanny X-Men 175 cover.
When I bought this issue, I had only been "officially" collecting for two or three months. I had no idea of the back story of this issue, having only bought three issues of the series. But I've always been wowed by this cover.
I love the colors, the action, and the fact that it does tie-in to the story inside. Of all the elements, I think the "claw" and the "rubble" are the most striking to me. Just glancing at the cover, you can pretty much figure out each character's abilities. You know who the "bad guy" is.
This cover was created by Paul Smith, who is often over-looked when mentioning the artists who drew the X-Men. I understand why when names like Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, Dave Cockrum, John Byrne and Jim Lee are attached to such a storied franchise. Smith only penciled 10 issues of the X-Men (#165-175, except #171) and he only worked 21 covers in my entire collection (17 on his own and 4 with someone else inking him).
Regardless, this is the cover that stands out for me when I think about my collection.