Creating a Cover

I pretty much finished editing Sacco around April of last year. But because I spent the last 8 years drawing it, I wanted to step away from it for a while.   To try to get fresh eyes to view it.  And before creating a cover for it and turning it into a physical book you could hold. Luckily my brother reached out to me about Chewy Noh, and I threw myself into that to forget about Sacco for a while.

At the end of December I sent my roughs for Chewy to be printed, as a sort of year review of what I accomplished,  and I sent a version of Sacco too.

When I received them back I read through Sacco. I was amazed by how much I could forget about something that I worked such long hours on.  Those long hours usually came in the middle of the night or entire weekends.

So I felt I needed to start working on a cover. I should start by saying I am not a fan of designing covers. I’ve seen really good ones. And bad ones.  And for as many pages that I’ve drawn, and as many single illustrations that I’ve drawn– book covers are rarely one of them.

Below are a few graphic novels I like, however not all of their covers I think are great. Some show elements of the story, even if they are minor elements, and then others, nothing at all.  You could say that most have a pretty centered image,  but is that necessary for a good cover?  

In the past, comic book covers used to be similar to the inside of the issue.  They’d mirror a comic panel, some possibly with word balloons or thought balloons that pointed towards the story in a dramatic or funny fashion.  It looked like they took a cell from the book and slapped the title on top and that was it. (and from the examples I cherrypicked below,  pillows are a big theme).

However modern day cover are like my favorite graphic novels, Blankets, Scott Pilgrim and Watchmen.  They have central figures (usually humans) with hints of the plot (possibly) in the background or foreground.

So the below image is what I would use when I sent roughs or uncompleted parts of Sacco to the printers.  Largely, because I didn’t care about the cover.  I wanted to see how the inside looked when printed and for editing purposes.

But I still liked this image of Cari Air and so I decided to use it as the central image of the cover.  I came up with a few ideas, good and bad.  And chose the rough below as my template.

Again, it had elements pointing to the plot.  And there was a theme by having US currency references built into it.

And to a point, I felt there was certain energy in the image.

I sent it off to the printers and should see how it worked out soon.

Still working on Chewy though.  (image up top)

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