2018! A new year stretches out before us. Among other things I'm happy to announce that I'll be taking my little show on the road to comic conventions. On February 24-25 I'll be down in Savannah Georgia for the Savannah Comic Con. On April 7-8 I'll be here in NYC at the Society of Illustrators MOCCA Arts Festival. I'm talking to people about a few other shows but nothing else concrete for now.
Previously I've done a few local shows back in Greenville, SC that were really wonderful but I never got around to making a full banner that could roll up and be easily ported around. The banner will be 36" wide x 84" tall, it has to be eye catching and informative, telling who I am and what I do at a glance.
The notion of making this look like a vintage paperback book did not immediately come to me, but as I thought more about who I am, what I love, and what strongly influences me I couldn't help but going that route. I have an enduring love for those old LOTR and Hobbit covers with the white title backing and elegant black letters, they're clear and inviting, and the stark separation between the illustration and the words I believes compliments rather than opposes, fighting for attention. Before I move on to talk about the illustration I want you to notice the details on both my design and the hobbit cover below. There's a publishers mark and title as well as an ISBN and price, very small but I've come to notice that these types of informational marks make a significant difference. In my opinion they add credibility to the design, as if saying this item is important enough to necessitate additional information, so I made some up for my own design. It's illusionary and a trick but we're talking comic books here, don't fight fair.
Ok, moving onto the content. I thought about what I do best and while I'm under no assumption that I am the best of the best at this I do think I have a knack for character design and relationships between them. So I decided on a very full, character busy scene. That decision was made easier by the separation of title and illustration, I could be certain that there would be no confusion between the two, so the bottom illustration could be as busy as I wanted it. As many of you know I'm working on a personal comic called Joe Death so I chose it's characters to be front and center. I want the world of Joe Death to ultimately feel friendly, bonds of friendship and community are a strong part of the larger story. Character performances are a big part as well, they need to act so I've been diving into cartoon/cartooning material for inspiration. One of the best resources I've found is Walt Kelly's Fairy Tales published by IDW, a collection of comics originally called Fairy Tale Parade. I love Kelly's characters so much, as well as the bright, vivid color palette.
While this is a digital painting, very clean and linear I include the uncropped painting/image below. It feels like it harkens back to the days of old cel animation, something that I love. Insignificant I suppose, but I just want it here and hope you enjoy it. I have a few videos on my Youtube channel discussing some of this paintings more intricate qualities. You can find it by clicking HERE