Feb 14 2009

I’d appreciate your design input… again

Published by at 7:04 pm under Art,Book Covers,Comic Book Art

When we last left off, we were working on two main items…

1. Fleshing out our cover.  The concept was that Agent Black would be flummoxed by the utter wackiness of Agent Orange’s presidential bobblehead collection.  This was our first draft of the concept.

In hindsight, I think this wouldn’t work for prospective readers. It’s not clear enough what’s going on. Too many questions, not enough answers. So I decided to overhaul the concept.  (I describe the overhaul below).

2.  We were also designing the head of Agent Orange, the wacky mutant alligator.  As you can see above, he looked really cartoony on the first go.  We had made some headway toning that down, but it has still been a difficult, draining and (so far) not particularly successful process.

So what I decided to do was to go with a cover design that wouldn’t use Agent Orange’s head.  A.O. doesn’t appear in the first five pages, so cutting his head out of the cover means that we can put off designing him until we get published.  )Our submission will include the cover and first five pages, so he won’t be depicted in the submission).  If we design his head after getting published, the advantage is that we’ll have editorial feedback and a larger budget.

However, I still want both main characters in the cover.  How can I do that without using their heads?  I envision that it’ll look something like this.

A few things have to be smoothed out, though.

  1. We don’t have a background yet, but we will eventually. That awful light blue screen won’t appear in the cover at all.
  2. The art is choppy in a few places.  (Look closely at the suitcase, particularly at the bottom-right corner, etc).
  3. In the logo, the colored spaces will be expanded to make the letters easier to read.

What do you think?  Better, worse, the same?  What could we use for a background in that space?  (Ideally something that suggests this is a comedy). Is the logo effective?

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “I’d appreciate your design input… again”

  1. Holliequon 14 Feb 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Hmm. I’m not sure about the cover overhaul . . . I thought A.O. would be a pretty good selling point. I don’t think there are many other comics with a mutant alligator in them. I think it might be an improvement over the bobbleheads, though.

    I’m not sure about a background. The city, a desk, the O.S.I. offices, the matrix convention?

    I’m not feeling the logo at the moment. It feels a bit choppy and doesn’t blend into the background too well. Also, I’m not sure about making ‘Nation’ the same size as ‘superhero’. It might work better just a tiny bit smaller. What do you think?

  2. B. Macon 14 Feb 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Ok, I’ve made two modifications here. First, I shrunk the word NATION so that it’s 85% as large as SUPERHERO. Second, I shrunk the final letter in each word (the O in SUPERHERO and N in NATION) to fit in better with the rest of the letters. What do you think?

  3. Holliequon 15 Feb 2009 at 10:56 am

    The sizes look a lot better, but I preferred ‘SuperherO’. Would it be possible to have the S and O larger than the other letters, but move them down? ‘Nation’ might fit nicely between them. I’d also recommend making the letts of ‘nation’ all the same size if you tried that.

  4. B. Macon 15 Feb 2009 at 12:07 pm



    I think it needs more space between SUPERHERO and NATION.

  5. Anonymouson 15 Feb 2009 at 1:28 pm

    The clipboard paper is too plain. You need something that suggests he is an accountant.

    You could have an office background, with a potted plant or water colour.

  6. B. Macon 15 Feb 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Hello, anonymous.

    We have a generic office background (including a water-cooler and plant). It would probably look something like this.

    I left out the plant because there wasn’t enough space.

  7. B. Macon 15 Feb 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Ok, the water cooler seems to reflect Agent Black very well. To hint at the conflict between Black and Orange, I’d like to prop up something against the water-cooler that is seriously out of place in a typical office. Maybe a rocket launcher or RPG. (Well, A.O. won’t use a rocket launcher, but I figure a rocket launcher is exotic and dangerous enough that it can stand in for the Office of Special Investigations).

    For example, this is what a rocket-propelled grenade launcher might look like.

  8. Holliequon 15 Feb 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I like the idea of a rocket launcher or something propped against the water cooler. That’d be pretty funny. 🙂 You might also consider a wackily designed watercooler, especially one that might not work to well. I could imagine A.O. going for something like that.

    I also like the improved logo.

  9. scribblaron 15 Feb 2009 at 4:29 pm

    I like the idea of something out of place, but try to keep it in line with your comic. So if rocket launchers feature heavily, try using a rocket launcher.

    Try to keep it personal. Eg, what does AO eat? You could have a fish tank behind them with a saying like “Agents must not eat the fish… ths includes you, Agent Orange” or “this includes all non-human personnel” or something.

  10. B. Macon 15 Feb 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Good thinking, Scribblar. I like that because it’s kind of quirky. However, I’m not sure if there’s space for a sign here. We may be able to work it into the issue, though.

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