Friday, March 09, 2012

NIGHT OF THE 80'S UNDEAD: Cover time 3 - limited edition #1 pre-order info!!

Just like the book - my brand new zombie comic, NIGHT OF THE 80'S UNDEAD - this blog update showing the creation of the cover art for the first issue, is told in 3 parts... so today, we get a look at the final installment, the finished art!

Take a peek below to see the cover from initial sketch, to finished pencil line art.

But now, here are the pencils by artist Bill McKay, all colored up by yours truly.
If I had my druthers, I'd have done this in painted style, similar to the Rambo: First Blood poster it's styled after, but alas I don't have the tools or practice at that, so I opted for a bit of a mixed approach. Generally I work in a cell shaded style, to varying degrees, and I incorporated that approach (hard shading against flat color) here initially on the main character, but then mixed in some airbrushing and other stylistic touches for affect. I also used some washes of color, another animation style approach, to give the whole thing varying degrees of unified color or tone (in this case red, to play off the background and ominous horror vibe). The background zombies were done more in painterly style, to an extent though, and then there's lots of computerized gradients etc at work also.

The colors here are at contrast to the approach I'm taking on the interiors, which is basically a modified grayscale with graphic accent colors of a limited 80's inspired palette. And while I also wanted to convey the horror aspect of the book, I kept things fairly bright and utilized those 80's colors throughout on the cover, to communicate that theme as well.

This was allot of fun, but also A LOT of work. Images like this, with multiple characters, and full backgrounds, when not done in a uniform color, are very time consuming. And then also, I generally spend much more time on covers, all around, then just about anything else.

Now, here we have a look at the final art, with the cover graphics added in.
Again, this is the final cover for the first issue, but also, it's being used for a modified version to sell at shows starting next week (while production on the first issue is finalized), a "pencil edition", that includes the entire first issue, but without any colors or inks to modify the artist's original pencil line art (so, it does have full, not finalized, lettering - and will read the same as the final version). I still hope to create some more hand crafted logos for the book, so the title graphics and similarly themed additional graphics may change completely for the official book.
 As far as this limited edition pencil version, you can pick it up as I said, starting next week at Wondercon Anaheim, where I'll be exhibiting in artist alley as usual. And then at subsequent shows, starting with Emerald City Comicon in Seattle at the end of the month. The book will be limited though, so once we have the print run set (at this point roughly 50 copies - so very limited), each will be hand numbered. Additionally, we'll be offering some further limited variations of the pencil edition, with both a pencil art cover variant, and a blank con sketch cover variant (each of which will be about 20% of the overall run - so even more scarcely limited). We may do another run of this addition, if we sell through copies before we have a final version of the book, but if we do, they will vary in some way, with an entirely new hand numbered run. So, this "pencil edition" will be truly unique and limited.

If you can't make it to the shows, we are now offering pre-orders for the book, in all 3 versions, so get your PayPal ready and pick your poison. Pre-sales will be closed next Friday, with the overall print number locked in. At that point, we will offer the book again online after Wondercon, if any copies remain.


For general information on the book itself, it's black and white since it includes only the pencil art, and is 24 interior pages, with 22 of those being the first issue story. Written and lettered by me, with art and cover by Bill McKay.

So, grab a copy and check out the Regan era madness inside... or hold out a bit longer for the standard full color version...

Please stay tuned for more info on the book, and the official release coming soon!

1 comment:

Javier Hernandez said...

Your technique gives the feeling that the cover was done with pastels. There's a nice, soft hue to the colors. Plus the fact that you don't have the black inked lines on a account of printing from the pencils.

Of course, the softness of the color is offset by the horror of the story!

Looking forward to getting a copy of this at Wondercon!