“we’re gonna have to put a little overtime in on this one”

This job was a lot easier when I wasn’t as good at it.

I’ve been going around and around trying to hammer out a cover for the next book featuring Voodoo Joe.  I came up with some decent ideas but nothing that was great.  It’s like…according to the 10,000 hours theory I am a master of my trade ( and also according to me…specially after I’ve had a drink or two, I have been noticing I’m very impressed with myself when I’m drunk.  When I’m sober…not so much.  That probably means something to a psychiatrist…or a addiction specialist).  So when I look at a “good” cover idea I kinda feel like…it’s not worthy of my skills.  If I was cranking out 12 covers a year I’d probably use them, but I’m not.  The industry has moved in a direction where putting out a bunch of little issues is a waste of money.  One or two large graphic novels a year is the way to go, when you’re only doing one that kinda makes you really want it to be something a level or two above “good”.  There is also the added factor that any cover at this point could be my last for some time.  No, not because I might die or quit, but because I am at the point where the more fruitful path looks like it will be for Douglas the writer and not Douglas the illustrator.  Which is a fancy way of saying I can make more money writing.

anyways…I’ve been passing up good ideas hoping for a bolt of inspiration.

hoping and struggling.

Recently I’ve said “the hell with it”.  The book’s gonna get an alternative cover anyways.  I might as well work on that.  I happened to sketch this out while coming up with really great Cthulhu end of the world story.

Now THIS is an idea.  But it’s gonna be a bitch because I’ll have to draw a partially destroyed city.  Which is even less fun then drawing a regular city. 

Oh well, It may be hard but at least it exists …as opposed to the easier but non-existent Joe cover.

The thing with this is it’s going to need a little extra effort with the vanishing points.  A standard two vanishing points set up will get you a very accurate, very precise, and very uninteresting city.  This illustration calls for something more. We have a single survivor, and a giant demi-god gliding/hovering over a wrecked city.  It needs to feel creepy, uneasy, and if possible have the feel of flowing movement…even though the two figures are essentially at a standoff.

SO..here’s how I do all that.  I add a few extra vanishing points.  skewing the buildings in the middle just a bit.  so as the readers eyes go left to right it creates the illusion that the camera angle is moving in and back out…just as the eye would change focus panning a view with closer objects at the edges and further objects in the middle.  confused?  well…then this ain’t gonna help much.

yeah..this is gonna take some time. 

Oh…the 3d glasses…you’ll notice I use red and blue lead.  I do that for a bunch of reasons I won’t bore you with but I also stumbled into another useful thing about them,  Let’s say I’m not sure if I want building no.2 from the left hand side to be taller than his wing or shorter.  Well, I draw the taller version in red and the shorter in blue and put the 3d glasses on and close one eye at a time to compare.  Kinda like when you go to an eye doctor “better?..or better now?’

It’s either a brilliant and whimsical idea or a solution in search of a problem, or the symptom of an overtaxed brain.



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