After much nail biting and brainstorming, I settled on a cover idea which was a scene from the strip. This being the moment when Dante is about the get his head kicked in, and so I used a traditional comic cliché of the crouched and battered hero, with the shadows of his foes ominously approaching. This design was a bit empty tho...
Because of the hawk in the strip, I added a shadowed hawk image behind dante, not only to tie-in with the story but to fill the composition out a bit more. Still not right tho...note how quick these sketches are. Some times I do real quick jobbies in photoshop because I need to get a lot of ideas out. This was the only one I sent to tharg tho cos the others sucked.
This was the tighter pencil drawing to sort out the composition and define danteâ??s expression etc. the shadowy figures are still there, but the figure fills the frame a lot better now. These are the more exciting moments of the cover process, where I catch my first glimpse of what the final image will be. Until this point itâ??s all scribbles and guess work.
The final inked figure. I included this to show how much photoshop adds to the image. The only other drawn element was the crest and that was tiny. As far as original art goes, this is all that exists of this cover:)
Here we see the final decisions made. The image here is shown with plenty of â??bleedâ? as itâ??s always supplied to tharg, which I just filled with a rough milky texture. The decision to drop the shadowy figures was made cos they looked rubbish in the final art. The decision to add the crest on the ground was an â??homageâ? to one of Si Fraserâ??s earlier Dante covers, where Dante stands proud on the Crest. Here itâ??s all battered and the symbolism is plainly that the Romanov dynasty is knackered. But Dante still fights on. Cue the trumpets...