Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures

Spread for The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures

Spread from the deluxe version of The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures

Slipcase for the deluxe version of The Rocketeer

Cover for the deluxe version of The Rocketeer

Dust jacket to The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures

It's been a while since I posted, so I thought I should take some time to update things. I've been extremely busy putting all the contents and design work into four new books. Two of them were for Flesk Publications. They are two new dinosaur books based on William Stout's artwork. The titles are, Dinosaur Discoveries and The New Dinosaurs A-Z. For these books, Bill has created well over one hundred new paintings of new species of dinosaurs which have been discovered in the last decade. John Fleskes writes about the process of development of these two books, on the blog portion of the Flesk Publications website.

The other two books were done for IDW publishing. The first is, the complete collection of the Rocketeer stories. These have never before been published as one collection. The Rocketeer was first published in 1982 as a back up feature in Starslayer #2, it became an immediate hit. Taking the time period of 1938, and adding elements of Saturday Matinee Serials, Dave Stevens created adventure stories inspired by the streamline era and the golden age of aviation. The publication of the stories was an adventure in itself, going through four publishers, it took nearly thirteen years to finally complete the story of the Rocketeer. So attractive was this property, that Walt Disney Studios created a film based on the Rocketeer which was released in the summer of 1991.

When designing this book, I wanted to approach it the same way that Dave approached creating his stories. I wanted to incorporate design elements that were reflective of that particular period of time. I love the Deco/Streamline era of design, and I wanted this book to feel as if the stories, characters, set designs, fonts, color palettes, and book design all came from the same source. I certainly wanted to do justice to what Dave had created and I tried my best to channel his thought process. I want the end result to be elegant, sophisticated, and tastefully executed.

The second book I designed was a real "behind the scenes" look into the creation of the Rocketeer. This is a limited edition over-sized slipcased book. Not only does it contain the original story, but also Dave's notes, sketches, layouts, preliminary designs and an explanation of his design process. This book is 274 pages with two gatefolds and plenty of never before seen material. The attempt was to create the definitive Rocketeer art book. I'm very excited at the results.


  1. Masterful! Simply masterful.

    -Rocket Pistol

  2. Thanks for posting these images, Randy.

    How can you work on material by Bill Stout, Dave Stevens, and Mark Schultz without being vaporized by the rays of Sheer Awesome emanating from such fine works? I'm jealous!

  3. Scott,

    It really is a dream come true! I'm very humbled to be surrounded by such enormous talent. I've been such a fan of all there work for years and years. I truly hope that the design work I do, does justice to their artistic visions. Oh, don't forget to add Al Williamson to that list!


  4. Well of course! The beam of Sheer Awesome was coming from Flash's ray gun!

    So are there actually two different Rocketeer books coming out from IDW, or just a regular and a deluxe version?

  5. There are two different Rocketeer books. One is a hardcover with dust jacket and the size of a "graphic novel," It contains the complete Rocketeer story, plus covers, all beautifully re-colored by Laura Martin.

    The second book is a hardcover at 8"x12" with the complete story, plus 120 pages of background material, sketches, inspiration, and layouts. Also, the book is contained in a slipcase.

    Buy one of each!