So last week I told you all about a cover I recently drew for an upcoming book from Oxford University Press called Classic and Comics. The idea was that I drew several pastiches of famous superhero covers with the superheroes replaced by Olympian deities. I showed several such sketches, as well as their inspirations, but we finally went with Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman.
And below here we have my quickie sharpie marker sketch for my take on the cover, with Supes replaced by his inspiration, Heracles, and the various assorted random thugs replaced by various assorted random superfolk.
After we all decide that this sketch was the way to go, I penciled the image on a piece of Bristol paper. It's now a bit tighter than the sketch, and a few elements of the composition, like Herc being bigger, have been tweaked.
From there I went into the inks. This was inked with pen nibs and brush. I work from pretty loose pencils, as I like to do most of the actual drawing in ink-- keeps it fresher for me. Once again, there are a few changes at this stage-- like, where did that loose tire go? Folks thought that tire was confusing, as the car being smashed by Herc still seems to have all its wheels. I will point out, however, that is a detail from the original cover. Maybe Superman had a sidekick from Krypton who was a tire and got cut from the final story?
Finally, after I inked it, wonder-intern Evan Petersen did some color flatfills (basically tracing out shapes) for the piece in Photoshop, and then I went in and did the final color. And we're done!
Notice that the final piece has a lot of extra color space around the edges-- that's bleed room for when they print it up. I also left plenty of room for type elements, which the good folks at Oxford University Press will be handling. Hope you all enjoyed this exhaustive look at how I work!