Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cave Girl


 Title Page Spread

 Bob Powell Biography Spread

Table of Contents Spread

I love the look and feel (even the smell) of old comics. The aged paper warms up everything on the page. The colors seem to meld into the paper better, and everything feels comfortable. I can't really explain the soothing nature of looking through vintage paper goods. I'm sure there is some sort of medical research that's been done on the subject, but for me, I'm sure it has helped lower my blood pressure.

I wanted to bring that experience to the book design of Bob Powell's Cave Girl. This is the first book I've had the opportunity to design with the Kitchen Sink imprint for Dark Horse comics. I think in most cases when companies are reproducing old stories, they do a great dis-service by trying to clean them up and then reprint them on shiny snow white paper. It causes the art, to lose all of it's character and reveal flaws that weren't present when originally printed. I wanted to use the brownish paper tones from the original comics and introduce them into this book's design. I wanted the experience of reading this book to be similar to owning the original comic from the early 1950s.

The cover was intended to be an homage to old chapter serials or jungle movie posters. Throughout the book, I used examples of single colored comic images to again give it a look and feeling of vintage printing. The overlapping collages gave an added energy which mimicked the jungle action within the stories. This is a perfect book for enjoying on a cold winter evening, looking at the steamy jungles and the hyperactivity of Cave Girl, is sure to heat up any room.

Joe Kubert Enemy Ace Artist's Edition


 Title Page

 Credits Spread

About This Edition/Table of Contents Spread

When Scott Dunbier, my editor at IDW, told me we were going to be doing Joe Kubert's Enemy Ace as an artist's edition, I was extremely pleased. There were so many levels to this story and art, and I enjoyed all of them. First, this being a series that had a somewhat plausible place in history was great. This gave me context for the direction for the design. The idea of men flying around in wooden and canvas airplanes engaged in air battles also really intrigued me. Somehow war seemed more honorable, with rules that everyone adhered to. Almost like a sporting event. I'm certainly not making light of war or the horrors and deaths involved, but it seemed more gentlemanly. Like medieval jousting. Kubert knew how to draw those flying machines, and bring along the reader into the cockpit with the pilots. It was a bit of an adrenaline rush!

This particular period was also one of my favorites when it came to the history of design. I got to use the influence of my library of european designers. The graphics were strong, bold and a little avant garde. The dynamics of the graphic icons fit with the imagery of the air battles. This book was an absolute treat to work on, and as always the source material was very inspirational!  

Will Eisner's The Spirit volume 2

 Variant Cover

 Title Page

 Contents Spread

Chapter Break

It was nice to be able to revisit Will Eisner's Spirit. After the template was established for the first volume, it was requested, and made perfect sense, to use it again for the second volume. It really wasn't too difficult to pick strong graphic images from the stories. Will had created such cinematic staging and lighting that he made my job very easy. I chose again to had flat color and sharp contrast lighting to enhace the drama that was already there. I was basically hanging the curtins in the house he had designed and built!