Today I thought I'd show you how the cover for Combat Colin No.1 developed.
I had the vague idea for the artwork in my head but the first thing I wanted to do was design the logo. This might seem an odd way of going about things, as the logo isn't usually the first step in designing a cover. However, it's the way I worked in this particular instance, and it would help give me an idea of how much room I'd have for the illustration beneath it.
I toyed around with a few fonts I'd bought from Comicraft, before settling on the design to use. I chose the Battle Damaged font, which seemed appropriate and captured the kind of classic comics look I wanted. I shifted the letters a bit to give them a less serious feel, and added a shadow. My intention was to try and emulate the look of Marvel comics of the 1950s (and British comics of the 1960s to an extent) when they had clear, dynamic mastheads on a plain background that could be seen across a room. To me, clarity like that is important to grab attention. I'm afraid I don't agree with the modern approach of subtle colour coordination or covering up half the logo with artwork.
With the masthead design finalised, I then did a very rough mock up of the cover, indicating the position of Colin etc.
That done, I began to rough out the actual cover art, using a Col-Erase 20068 blue pencil...
I wasn't too happy with Colin's pose, and felt he should look a little bit more defiant, so I altered that before I set about inking the piece...
The reason I used a blue pencil was so the scanner wouldn't pick it up. Here's the completed inked artwork after I'd scanned it into Photoshop and tidied it up...
Next step of course was to add colour with Photoshop.
Finally, the masthead, cover copy and speech balloons were added and the cover was ready to go!
The final result, the printed comic, turned out great!
Issue 1 of Combat Colin is still available from my online shop and I'm finishing off issue 2 shortly. I was hoping to publish No.2 around this week, but realistically I think I'll wait until early January now to avoid any delays with the Christmas post. (Especially as some issues went missing in the summer during normal post times.) Watch this space for more updates!