Monday, January 26, 2009

Fun Working with a Cover Artist

I've said it before and I'll say it again: one great thing about working with a small press is getting to work with the cover artist.

Roe has already considered my suggestions and come back with the next iteration of Vern. I love it. I feel like he's caught the fun side of Vern's personality, which, really, Vern has just been discovering himself.

The only thing I still didn't like are the eyes. In part, I'm not thrilled with the "googly" factor (the circle and lines surrounding the eyeball), but more than that, I've made a big point in Live and Let Fly that Vern has 270 degree vision because of the position of his eyes--but that he can only see directly in front of him because of magic. In Live and Let Fly, as his magic drains, he starts going blind in front of his nose.

I'd already sent Roe some links to illustrations of the eyes I was thinking of, so to make sure he understood what I meant, this time, I decided to draw them myself.

As you can see, I traced over his sketches and made my changes. I'm a good tracer. :) I know he'll make it look terrific.

Someone asked me about the style we'd chosen, and why we didn't go for something more grand. We deliberately chose a cartoony/caricature style because it best suits the tone of the book. I spent an hour in the bookstore looking at the different cover styles and deciding what they said to me. Even the painting-style covers of books I knew were humorous did not say "slapstick," and they tended to blend in with the high fantasy or even get pushed out of the limelight. However, these covers stand out:

Myth, Inc. by Robert Asprin (RIP) and Jody Lynn Nye are similar in tone to Magic, Mensa and Mayhem and Phil Foglio's covers reflect the book perfectly. I wanted the same for MM&M. In fact, if I'd thought I had a chance at getting Foglio, I'd have jumped, but I'm glad I got Roe Mesquita. He's great to work with.


Christine Trollinger said...

The Dragon looks good!!!

I like it.

Karina Fabian said...

Isn't he fun? I have the print up on my desk and I keep looking at it and grinning.