Genesis of a Cover
The Art of The Phantom
Cover Sketch A
Cover Pencil Art
Cover colored by Tom Smith
Have you ever wondered how a Comic Book Cover comes together? I thought there might be some fans who would enjoy seeing how a cover starts with an idea or ideas and eventually becomes that first image that entices a reader to purchase the comic book and hopefully enjoy the story that dwells beyond the cover.
The Artist and his editor will discuss cover ideas based on the script. There are three basic types of covers to consider.
One type is the symbolic cover like Cover Sketch B. It contains elements that appear in the script but do not necessarily appear together anywhere in the story. It is meant to covey the mood or essence of the story.
Another type of cover recreates a scene from the script like Cover Sketches A and C. Sketch A depicts a scene with elements from the script without actually lifting a panel from the interior art. Sketch C could, almost, be a direct lift from an interior panel modified slightly to accomodate the cover dimensions.
The third type of cover is your basic pin-up. It is meant to be flashy and depict the Hero doing something cool but many have nothing in common with the interior story or art.
In this case I really liked Sketch A. My esteemed Editor, Ulf Granberg, liked Sketch B but felt that the fans would like Sketch C. I learned a long time ago to give the Client what he wants.
Next I reproduced Sketch C at full size in pencil, scanned it and sent it to Ulf for approval. Upon receiving the green light I inked the cover with brush and pen leaving only the night sky untouched. I next scanned the cover into Photoshop. I opened a separate file containing a black background with stars that I had created previously for nighttime scenes.
Using the Polygonal lasso tool I outline the areas to be filled with stars, then I click on the stars file, drag that image over to the cover art, click on Select, Inverse and hit the delete key. Voila...a star studded night.
I have a negative version of that star file that I used for a sandstorm scene in the story. It's much easier and cleaner doing this in Photoshop than trying to create that speckeled effect with a tooth brush, ink or white-out on each panel.
Once the black and white art is completed I email the image to Tom Smith for digital coloring. Tom works his chromatic magic, emails the image to Egmont who sends the color file to the printer. Job done!