Feb 24 2009

Would you like to give me some stylistic feedback?

Published by at 2:53 am under Art,Book Covers,Comic Book Art

Well, at this point, hopefully the art can stand on its own without explanation.  Here are some impressions I had.  What do you think?

  • The characters seem too tall relative to the water-cooler and rocket launcher.
  • I’ll probably end up replacing the logo’s color gradient with a straight blue.
  • I can replace the reptile’s suitcase with a badge that he’s showing off.  Right now, I think the large size of the seal on his suitcase is a bit distracting.  We could mount the seal on the back wall.

16 responses so far

16 Responses to “Would you like to give me some stylistic feedback?”

  1. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 25 Feb 2009 at 5:24 am

    Yeah, the water cooler looks quite small, especially the taps. You’d need a microscope to get a drink! Haha.

    How about fading from a dark blue to a light one, or vice versa? You wouldn’t have the problem of switching colours, and it would be more visually appealing than having it all the same.

    Put the seal on the back wall, because that’s the strangest briefcase I’ve ever seen. The writing also looks a little cramped at the bottom of the seal, if it was just a bit wider it would make reading it a little easier.

  2. Holliequon 25 Feb 2009 at 10:16 am

    I’m agreed with RW on this one, but I’m not sure how the light-to-dark blue gradient will work. I’m not sure about a solid colour, either; it may look too boring. However, I’d give it a go if you think it could work.

  3. CRon 25 Feb 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Put a UF logo–you know the one w/ the snarling gator–below the OSI sticker so a reader would know the whatever on the right is an alligator.

  4. B. Macon 25 Feb 2009 at 8:14 pm

    I don’t know if using the UF logo would be legally kosher. What would you think about describing the character as a mutant alligator on the back cover?

  5. Ragged Boyon 25 Feb 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Advice: Visualize yourself walking down a busy street into a bokstore. You don’t have a goal in mind, just looking for a good read. You walk over to the comedy section, looking for a laugh after a day lecturing (or rambling) about the fundamentals of political science. You look at Superhero Nation on the shelf and think, based of the cover, would I pick this book up (of course, B. Mac would need to think as though he didn’t actually write it.). Well, would you?

    My least favorite aspect is definitely the title. My idea for the cover is a pretty drastic change, so take it with a sugar, if it sounds sour. I’d prefer to see Superhero Nation on the same line. I think Agent Black and Orange should be separated more to show things on the wall behind them. In addition to the water cooler and rocket launcher, you could add a signs saying ” Days Since Last Orange Related Accident” or a chart showing the increasing number of thwarted world domination plans this month, or maybe for a wackier tweak, this week. Alternatively, you could add a large window with something wacky occuring outside.

    Just some suggestions, hope I can at least get some ideas flowing.

    What do you think?

  6. Alice2on 26 Feb 2009 at 8:46 am

    I like the contrast between the water cooler and the rocket launcher, but I agree that it looks a little too small. It effectively mirrors the contrast between the characters on the cover, though.

    The red-to-blue gradient always sounds to me like it should work, but it just doesn’t look that good on the logo.

    If you try a light-to-dark blue gradient, maybe you should try it both horizontally and vertically. I think the latter might look good, but I have no idea.

    I think that they look really good standing close together, but I think Ragged Boy has a point; the background is lacking. It needs something, but it needs to be something that doesn’t wreck the balance with the water cooler and the rocket launcher.

    I adore the water cooler and rocket launcher, if you can’t tell.

    Looking at it as someone who has never seen it before, I’m trying to determine if I would buy it or not. I would definitely read the back cover, though, and probably peck my brother on the shoulder and show him the cover.

    And, to be frank, I’d mistake the suitcase for a lunchbox…I like the badge idea, though.

    There’s my thoughts on the matter. I hope it helps!

  7. Dforceon 26 Feb 2009 at 11:00 am

    I have one idea to fix the problem about the characters looking too tall in comparison to the background:

    You could place the vanishing point right between the water cooler and the rocket launcher, and draw everything from there (as if there was a cameraman kneeling in front of them). This would remove the top of the briefcase and replace it with the bottom, and it would also force you to draw Agent Orange’s cuff in inverse (concave as opposed to how it looks now) revealing a little of the inside of the sleeve.

    One other thing I noticed is Agent Black’s arm (it looks as though he has very large and broad shoulders/makes him look buff because as it goes up it extends away from the body). If I were you I’d have his sleeve’s outline meet the left third of the top of the book instead of the middle (well, maybe not as far, but a little more to the left than how it is now).

    Also, Agent Black’s clipboard seems a little empty to me. Since he’s an agent of some sort, shouldn’t he have some forms on there? I would at least draw squiggly lines across it.

    One more thing. Going back to the perspective thing, you could take the vanishing point’s guidelines and draw the side of the suitcase (slightly) along with the bottom. There on the side you could put the OSI logo, instead of at the front (it is a little bit awkward to have it on the side, I think).

    The window idea with explosions or whatnot does sound good. Though I wouldn’t make it as prominent (maybe a smallish window behind Agent Orange’s arm, toprightmost).

    Personally, while I do like the large letters and font of the title, I don’t like the way the colored outline looks. If you’re trying to create contrast between Black and Orange with the red and blue, I’d do something more drastic than having the colors fade between each other (especially with purple as your intermediate). Maybe have the colors simply meet each other halfway? Or have “SUPER” be blue, “HERO” be red, and the word “NATION” a color that reflects the story or their situation (black, a strong yellow to draw attention, etc.). I’d also make the colored outline a little thicker.

    This is Dforce with the stylistic feedback– Back to you Mac.

  8. B. Macon 26 Feb 2009 at 4:03 pm

    This is one possibility for a more sober version of the logo. (Please ignore how jagged the edges are).

  9. Dforceon 26 Feb 2009 at 4:18 pm

    (By logo you mean the title, right?). I’d make it thicker still, but that’s just my preference. I’d also make the ascending shading a little stronger (I can barely notice it on the bottom of the letters).

    Also, is the red I see on there by accident?

  10. B. Macon 26 Feb 2009 at 4:50 pm

    The logo is the title.

    Yeah, the red would not show up in the real version. (I’d clean up the ragged edges if I ended up using this concept).

  11. B. Macon 26 Feb 2009 at 5:07 pm

    (UPDATE: I’ve since changed the title to The Taxman Must Die).

    Ok, this is the same concept but with a stronger white-to-grey vertical gradient on the letters.

  12. scribblaron 27 Feb 2009 at 6:36 am

    If you make the briefcase only slightly narrow, but a lot longer (ie vertically) it won’t look as squat.

  13. scribblaron 27 Feb 2009 at 6:50 am

    Here’s the problem… it’s too posed. They wouldn’t be standing like this in a normal part of the day, would they?

    So here is my radical suggestion. Change the cover. I know, I know, bad me.

    Oh, and add more text.

    My cover design, a muted marble effect background, kind of like the ones they do school photos against (you do that in the states, right?) with Agent Black on a stool in front of it. He’s just joined The Office of Special Investigations and there is the shield on the wall behind him – he’s getting his picture taken for the files.

    But part of Agent Orange is in the picture, too; like for instance a long swirling tail at stomach height, or a crocodile hand doing the peace sign behind his head. Oh, and give AB a chest pocket with pens and stuff.

    And add more text – author’s names for a start, and a tag line.

    Add a tagline…

    Okay, I can’t think, something snappy about death, taxes and mutant alligators would be favourite.

  14. Ragged Boyon 27 Feb 2009 at 9:26 am

    I have to disagree, Scribblar, I don’t think it’s too posed, and I model. I think I could see them standing this way if someone across from them is briefing them or something.

    I think the poses are good, water cooler and RPG are good, and the title is good. I still think there is too much blank space on the wall though.

  15. B. Macon 27 Feb 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Ok. In the final version, we’ll move the OSI seal (which is currently on Orange’s briefcase) to the back of the wall. We’ll get rid of Orange’s briefcase and replace it with a badge. That will take up less space, which will give us more room to show the rocket launcher.

    Ragged Boy said “I’d prefer to see Superhero Nation on the same line.” I appreciate the suggestion, but I don’t think it’s feasible. The logo has to be big enough to be readable from a distance (10-15 feet, say). If I put the text on the same line, I think the text would have to be shrunken down too much. Also, the vertical space we would save by putting SUPERHERO NATION on one line is not very valuable. We’d see more of the upper arms of both agents, which are not very interesting.

  16. scribblaron 27 Feb 2009 at 5:05 pm

    I think they’d be more relaxed if they were getting briefed – they’re practically military formed there, but fair enough Ragged boy.

    I stand by my idea of text – add a tagline under the title.

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