Optimism: A healthy dose is, well, healthy.
Another string of resume submission all across Toronto, resumes, writing, you name it! I’m slowly finding I need to be a little more involved in the comic book community but it’s proving difficult while living in Pickering and not in the city. However, the optimism is not based entirely off these applications for new jobs. No this optimism is from class.
I like book design. I’m finding that I’m not bad at it. It makes sense, it’s very straight forward but has such a high creative element that you feel more free (despite publisher, marketing, author restrictions and ‘suggestions’). Currently listening to a guest lecture by Martin Gould, former Art Design Director of Key Porter Books – who sadly just went under.
The concepts are fantastic and I’m really engaging in this lecture. The basic facts of the matter that he is hammering home is that the cover is for marketing. I get that, and I’m thinking of it in a graphic novel/comic book context. For one, the medium is so visually driven that I think the cover is that much more important than with any other context. Should it always stay the same in art style ie. Should the artist of the inside content the cover artist? Or should it be done in a different style?
Not necessarily. A good example is Fables written by Bill Willingham and penciled by Mark Buckingham, Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha and Craig Hamilton. They often try to do something interesting for the covers which I really like. I’ve been reading from the collective volumes, not the individual comics but I’ve looked them up and rather like the difference in the style of the cover. It adds a spark to the comic that grabs a different audience from the rather traditional inside art (fantastic though, don’t get me wrong).
As you can see in this cover that I have here it’s been drawn to look more like a picture that looks to have been Photoshoped to take on an overlay that puts the fable manservant in the background in a similar light to the main character on the front (Prince Charming if you’re curious).
This differs greatly to a lot of independently published works, and understandably so. Indie artists want to connect the cover to the inside content so they draw a scene from the inside on the outside in the same style. It’s cheaper: some even reuse inside panels and blow them up. I like the designed cover, I love it when they can tie something else in a little different in style. BUT the first comic book should have what’s inside on the cover. I can only imagine a poor comic book shopper picking up a comic book, thinking ‘Oh hey, this is AWESOME art’ only to open it up (after they get home) and it’s completely different on the inside.
However, I must point out, this is a reader based opinion. Yes it matters, but often indie publishers/authors can’t take the extra time and costs to develop a different art style for the cover.
So what do you think? Same style cover, or different contrasting cover?
Vertigo on Fables: Publisher’s website with some information on why you should read fables.
Fables on Wikipedia : All the basic info on the series and where to go to read it and get it.