Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Road is Long

The version I liked best, to see the version they went with and printed, keep reading.
Sometimes despite your best efforts, a piece doesn't quite come together how you planned, and this piece, the cover art to Soldier Zero #4, available last week in finer comics establishments is as good a case study of this unfortunate phenomenon as any.

I had high hopes for this cover and a pretty clear idea of what I wanted: Ominous up-shot of the alien, who we're still not sure is hero or menace, dark roiling clouds behind --a storm brewing (pretty clear subtext there,) as well as a visual touchstone (hydro poles) showing us that, despite the freaky sky, we're still here on Earth, in familiar territory.

There's a voice, that keeps on calling me...
In drawing the final, I added a roadway (it would have to be there to justify the poles,) but that combined with his abdominal twist kind of made him look like he was sauntering on down the road, whistling a jaunty tune.

...down the road, that's where I'll always be.

The publishers request to make the sky less druggy (I'm parahrasing) resulted in a red sky in almost the exact same shade as the red guy.

Also along the way I'd given the cover a flip (we do this sometimes) not thinking it through fully in this case, and thus ensured the sunset would be obscured by the logo.

In digging up this image, I see they darkened the cover a fair bit on the production end, which, I think helps some (thanks guys!)

What do y'all think?


Jeremy said...

I love it, and I like the way you broke it down. Can't hurt to have Stan Lee's name on the cover either. Solid work, sir!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Kalman about the darkened cover, it works for me. But man, did that logo have to be so big?! It eats up about 40% of the cover and blocks out your art.

Kalman said...

@Jeremy Thanks Brah!

@Josh The size of the logo wasn't really a surprise, it's been that way from the get-go.

Despite that, hey still want a full page of art for each cover so they can re-use it for promos and/or logo-free alternate covers.

I try to design with the logo in mind and not have anything important on the bottom half, but here I fucked up.

One benefit of this trade dress is I can design covers with elements high-up in the image, and even have them bleed off the top.