The inking continues on Sunnyville Stories episode 6 “Squeeze Play”. I reiterate that I’m trying to get it done and sent to the printers before I go to the Small Press Expo 2012. That said, I wanted to talk to you about one of the most important elements of a comic. It’s the one that the potential buyers will first see. That is none other than…the cover!
A cover has to be catchy. It has to capture the eyes and attention of potential buyers. That is the aim of the cover I’ve chosen for Sunnyville Stories episode 6. Here is the cover for it.
Some of you may have seen this work of mine before. This was publicly displayed at a handful of events and was originally going to be the cover for episode 5.
This is intended to be a parody of the New Yorker magazine with Rusty resembling Eustace Tilley – the dandy character that is the mascot of the magazine. In fact, I was also able to locate the New Yorker typeface to make this look even more like the real thing.
So why do a parody cover? Well, it definitely catches the eyes of potential buyers and that is the entire point of a cover. The other reason is that the character reference will resonate with potential buyers. It’ll be something that they can relate to.
Anyway, let’s have a look at how I created this cover, shall we?
I searched through my pictorial reference files to get some inspiration for a cover I could for Sunnyville Stories episodes 4 and 5 (yes, I considered the New Yorker idea for both comics) and came across some of the New Yorker covers I grabbed off the Internet. I liked the idea of doing a Sunnyville cover in the tradition of the New Yorker so I went to my hardcover 11×14 inch sketchbook and scribbled down a few designs. This one that you see hear was the best looking one.
The sketch that you see here was the final rough study I produced. I traced this from my sketchbook. From here, I produced some rough color guides based on my reference pictures of Eustace Tilley. Unfortunately, I’m unable to share those with you. I no longer have the original color studies.
Based on my sketch and color study, I transferred the image to Arches brand 10×14 inch watercolor paper. I lightly sketched it in with an F pencil and then tightened up the pencilled image with a harder HB lead. Lines were done first with my usual black India ink and Speedball 513 nib. The background lines (for the buildings) were done with a Hunt 107 nib.
Since there wasn’t much color in the source image to begin with, I decided to keep this work to a minimalist color scheme too. Rather than use my paints, I broke out my tins of Derwent brand pencils. I keep two types of their pencils for my illustrations, Derwent watercolor (pictured here) and Derwent Inktense. The coat and shirt were colored using the Derwent watercolor pencils.
The butterfly was colored with Fuschia colored ink courtesy of the Inktense pencils. I was forced to use a bit of opaque white paint to correct some of the mistakes I made. Yes, even a good artist like me can make mistakes.
I recommend using the water-soluble pencils made by Derwent. They have lots of varieties and it can be a boon to your toolbox for colored work.
This piece, which I gave the rubric “Cat About Town”, was the finished product. Prints of this are available over on DeviantArt. All in all, this cover came out better than I expected and I’m glad I can finally use that image.
That does it for today, my loyal fans. Make sure you subscribe via RSS feed or through email if you haven’t already. Also follow the sync on Newsgrape. Be sure to stop by Indy Planet to buy your copy of my first book, Sunnyville Stories Volume 1, as well as my other comics – or get a copy over at Desert Island of Brooklyn, New York. As always, your feedback is appreciated. What sort of comics covers do you like? What’s your opinion? We’d like to know.