Cover Workshop

General discussion on illustration, art, and the business of same.
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izanobu
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby izanobu » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:13 pm

Alex- I preferred the one with the slightly bluish/grey in your 8:49 post. Not a big fan of the green lettering, personally.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby trdixon » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:24 pm

The green color isn't that bad for me, but I like the font better from the other. It looks too skinny to me.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Jess » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:27 pm

Alex Kane wrote:Getting closer? (Really appreciate all the feedback, guys!)

Image

Like the bluish-gray here better than both the b/w and the dull greenish-gray above. I think with the background color coming in a little, you could just use the white text. The name jumps out a lot more in this one, for instance.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Strycher » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:40 am

Jess wrote:I think with the background color coming in a little, you could just use the white text. The name jumps out a lot more in this one, for instance.


True that.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby gower21 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:10 am

I just LOVE the image, Alex. Did you photoshop/manipulate it yourself? Really liking the image.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Alex Kane » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:48 am

gower21 wrote:I just LOVE the image, Alex. Did you photoshop/manipulate it yourself? Really liking the image.

Wish I was that talented. :-) I bought the image from Danielle Tunstall, who does some insane Photoshop work, mostly horror- and science fiction-inspired. Was an expensive license, but I couldn't resist. And from what Annie (Nobu) has said about her Tom Edwards novel covers, I got it for a pretty good price--$240.00 US.

I've got the tentative TOC drawn up, but it includes three or four stories that have yet to sell elsewhere, including my Q2 entry, so it could be a while before the collection goes live. If it appears that it will be quite a while, I may just publish it minus a few stories, and then add them in for future editions.
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izanobu
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby izanobu » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:39 pm

I would say wait and make it a full collection. The more stories you have in it, the higher you can price it, which means fewer copies need to be sold to earn back what you spent on the cover.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Alex Kane » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:07 pm

izanobu wrote:I would say wait and make it a full collection. The more stories you have in it, the higher you can price it, which means fewer copies need to be sold to earn back what you spent on the cover.

Okay, thanks for the input. I've got 11 or 12 stories that I'm hoping to include, which add up to more than 40,000 words, so per Dean's advice, I should be able to price it higher than, say, a 15,000-word collection. Guess that's what I'll shoot for, then.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:39 pm

I looked around for images for this one. I found one really nice bokor image, but I couldn't track down the artist. Tonight, sadly, I tracked down his obituary.

Finally I decided on a simple Vodoun veve. It's very symbolically meaningful for the subject. The question is: does it say anything to the reader? In particular, does it say Vodoun?

Image

And of course, the image is watermarked because I haven't licensed it yet.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:01 am

Martin, I'd have to say the symbol really doesn't say "voodoo" to me, no. It's clearly not Seal of Solomon-esque or y'know, western-tradition Alchemist sort etc ... but to many (most?) it might just seem decorative rather than voodoo? (I say voodoo because that's the level of common mainstream non-familiarity I might try for myself? I know voodoo dolls and bloody chickens are tacky and lowest common-denominator, not suggesting that, but how familiar are most folks with that world?)

ETA if you had a bloody dagger there too, as if it's drawn in blood, might that suggest some ritualistic or magical element?
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:08 am

Scott, that's exactly the problem. New Orleans style voodoo (what we're mostly familiar with) is distinctly different from Haitian Vodoun, which is an older tradition and closer to its African roots. So that symbol, a veve, is actually straight from Vodoun practice. To those in the know -- a small set, indeed -- it speaks of Vodoun. To the average person, it's just an odd design.

I tried adding a skull. It just looked cheesy. Maybe I can find a non-cheesy dagger.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Strycher » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:29 am

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:Scott, that's exactly the problem. New Orleans style voodoo (what we're mostly familiar with) is distinctly different from Haitian Vodoun, which is an older tradition and closer to its African roots. So that symbol, a veve, is actually straight from Vodoun practice. To those in the know -- a small set, indeed -- it speaks of Vodoun. To the average person, it's just an odd design.

I tried adding a skull. It just looked cheesy. Maybe I can find a non-cheesy dagger.


If you're certain it's accurate, I would leave it. Maybe you'll educate the populace. (For what it's worth, when I saw the symbol, and before I read the text and knew it was Vodoun, I immediately thought of a magic-type ritual. wotf017 If I was shopping for ritualistic magic in the "real" world (cults, Voodoo, witches, monster hunters, etc), I would stop on that cover and read the blurb.)

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby morshana » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:37 pm

Strycher wrote:
Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:Scott, that's exactly the problem. New Orleans style voodoo (what we're mostly familiar with) is distinctly different from Haitian Vodoun, which is an older tradition and closer to its African roots. So that symbol, a veve, is actually straight from Vodoun practice. To those in the know -- a small set, indeed -- it speaks of Vodoun. To the average person, it's just an odd design.

I tried adding a skull. It just looked cheesy. Maybe I can find a non-cheesy dagger.


If you're certain it's accurate, I would leave it. Maybe you'll educate the populace. (For what it's worth, when I saw the symbol, and before I read the text and knew it was Vodoun, I immediately thought of a magic-type ritual. wotf017 If I was shopping for ritualistic magic in the "real" world (cults, Voodoo, witches, monster hunters, etc), I would stop on that cover and read the blurb.)


I agree with Krystal. It looks like magical symbols to me. And the text says: spooky/creepy to me.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby dantzel » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:54 pm

I like the symbol - no problems there - but I don't love the three different fonts on the same cover.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:05 am

I used to do henna temporary tattoos on friends, and maybe that's prejudicing me, it just sort of hit me as a henna design more than a magical or ritual symbol? But I've already 'fessed up to knowing little about Vodoun. So maybe it's just me.

http://www.rosemaryi.com/grphx/henna/hennasimple.jpg
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:20 am

Guess maybe this fits better in the "cover workshop" thread. Anyway, it's a thing I did for the upcoming "INDIANA SCIENCE FICTION" short story anthology ...

Image
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:02 am

Something bugs me about the flames around her head. I can't explain why, but they look like they're not part of the picture. Other than that, it's an intriguing scene.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:52 pm

You made me look at it, and when it reduces smaller there is a too-dark/too flat area between her suit and her head, maybe that's triggering it?
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:48 pm

soulmirror wrote:You made me look at it, and when it reduces smaller there is a too-dark/too flat area between her suit and her head, maybe that's triggering it?


That could be it. It just looks like the flames there are pasted on, not part of the picture. Sort of a collage effect.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby gower21 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:50 am

I see it too. I wonder if it is because the there is no light source where the light from the fire would be hitting her neck. The ones on her hair seem to stick out too. Maybe there needs to be smoke?

I really love the image, the idea and the color. Especially the contrast of the bright stars behind with the cold blue. It really reminds me of Golden Age fiction covers with a twist.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:53 pm

Well, too many people are seeing something off for it not to be off! So I'll tweak it ... maybe the rim of the spacesuit neck it too distinct of a cut off point (originally, the fire was supposed to be pouring up from OUT OF her suit, then I added the robot), I'll see if I can have the flames start lower and outside, as if the flames aren't HER burning, but a only splattering of fire off the robot?

And your idea of the flamelight needing to be seen on her skin too is spot-on!

There's a lesson here no doubt: We may begin with OUR idea of what's going on, but ultimately it has to be the VIEWERS who must understand/determine what's going on. (Same lesson no doubt for Illustrators AND Writers)

Thanks for the feedback so far!
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:12 pm

Here are two approaches to the same basic cover. I would appreciate some objective feedback. Thanks!

A...

Image

B...

Image
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Rebecca Birch » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:39 pm

Definitely prefer option A, although I couldn't tell you why. My non-artist reflex. wotf013
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:49 pm

Rebecca Birch wrote:Definitely prefer option A, although I couldn't tell you why. My non-artist reflex. wotf013


Since non-artists are a larger demographic, your reflex has value. Thanks!
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby MJNL » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:19 pm

I like option number one as well, but I think your name would stand out more in the bright yellow used in number two.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby T. Thulander » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:21 pm

I like the first one but without the dripping under the words.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby austinDm » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:06 am

I agree, definitely A. The text is a lot crisper, which I feel lends itself to the artwork of the cover rather than drown it out. The thicker/brighter fonts in B draw too much attention away from the image.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby bobsandiego » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:19 am

I lake the first one better, but agree with others that the drippy letters for the title don;t work. It seem too tacky and bad local Tv monster show level.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:08 pm

I like the first one? Liked the drippy letters both because of the blood reference but also it fills the empty space better. Like the deeper yellow too (neon yellow strikes me as too obviously "pc font" where the deeper yellow has organic vibe appeal.

Have you considered giving the black silohuette some textural value/fx?Image
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby E.CaimanSands » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:30 am

I like the first one too. I like the drippy letters and to me the letters on the second one look Christmassy, not horror at all. Oh, and the Gator says she loves the drippy letters. But then she would. wotf004
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