Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

This awkward Valentine's Day moment is brought to you by Elders of the RuneStone Issue #1!

Stay tuned for Page 2 of Issue #1 to be released Monday, Feb. 18th!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Steps to Creating a Cool Cover!

Quinn here. Today I'd like to give you all a little sneak peek into the process of creating a cover for Elders of the RuneStone, from inception to the final product. For the purpose of this article, I'm showcasing the cover for Issue #1, in production as we speak. For this piece you'll see Robert's magnificent talents as both penciler and inker, and Bob Pedroza as the colorist. This particular cover was a cool experience in that we were still in the process of finalizing the "look" of the book, including the character designs and the color schemes. It was very fun and both Robert and Bob were great sports, being very long-suffering with my constant needling and changing my mind until it fit the vision I had in mind (even when I wasn't always sure what that was).

Click on any image for a larger view.

My quick sketch for the initial layout idea. I wasn't so much worried about how good it looked as about giving Robert the basic layout and important details (you can see some of my notes). To be fair, I really can draw better than this!!

Working off my scribble, Robert knocked my socks off with this "hasty" sketch, returned to me within an hour. Man he's good!

Robert's final pencils, with everything cleaned up and detailed.

Robert's inks. Notice how much the spot blacks / shadows add to the three-dimensionality and mood of the piece. Also notice how he simplified the white pigment stripes on Monolith's face in the background, getting rid of the "old wrinkley" feel of before.

Here came the fun part! This cover was Bob Pedroza's trial by fire in whether we would take him on as our official colorist. As you can see, he did a tremendous job! He was very patient and cheerful as we kept giving him little nitpicky things to tweak, such as the color of Kat's jacket and Dain's shirt. Robert and I had a hard time deciding how the final color scheme of the characters should look, and Bob came through famously. His energy effects are amazing and really added to the power of the image.

And last but not least, the final image! Note the final "Go Team" logo that Bob added in the coloring stage. Also note the wicked bladed chains encircling the protagonists, foreshadowing a deadly foe to come...

So as you can see, creating the perfect cover is a multi-stepped process, with a lot of work put into each one. We follow a similar process with each drawn page of story, with Bob again taking our tweaks in stride. You can also look forward to Rick Ketcham's stellar inks on our interior art. As always, we look forward to hearing your comments and questions! Until next time!