Monday, April 20, 2009

50 for the 50th - Some Tips

Back in 2005 when we first began the process of creating The Adventures of Hatman & Indigo as a comic, I don't think I would have guessed that four years later we'd have 35 issues on-line. But here we are with our 36th issue well on the way.

In a few months we should be ready to publish our 50th Hatman & Indigo comic, and to commemorate this milestone we're going to feature 50 covers for the issue - that's more than all of the covers and variant covers we have on the site right now combined! So understandably, we're looking for a little help from our fans. As mentioned in the last post, we would like people to submit covers to us, and if we like them, we'll use them as part of the 50 covers (read the last post for more details). But for anyone who's never drawn a comic cover before, I'm sure there are a lot of questions about where to start and what it takes to make a good cover.

From the fall of 2006 through the end of 2008, I was the primary Hatman & Indigo artist. If you include Ion Bunny, I've actually drawn 24 comics for, plus 11 original covers, 9 parody covers, and one variant cover. I'll be the first to admit that the work being done by our new artists is leaps and bounds beyond what I did for 3Twins, but if you look at my earlier work and compare it to my later stuff I think you'll agree that I've come a long away. So I think I can offer some tips for our would-be cover artists.

1) Make it dramatic: Covers are intended to be eye-catching and draw the reader in, so you don't want to put your characters in hum-drum poses. Spice it up a bit with a nice action shot.

2) Fill the frame: In some of my earlier covers I made the mistake of drawing the characters too small and filling a lot of the space with background images. Again, you want the cover to be catchy, so let your characters dominate the page, but...

3) Keep it simple: You don't want there to be too much going on or the drawing will become too cluttered. Pick a focal point and make sure everything else in the drawing is used to enhance that point. If it doesn't add to the piece, take it away!

4) Experiment: If you don't know where to start, just draw the first thing that comes to mind, no matter how weird it seems. My favorite original cover was the cover I did for issue #29 Origin: Remastered. The image is of Hatman wearing a Superman-esque costume, flying over the city. The idea came to me and initially I didn't want to draw it because Hatman can't fly! But I went with it and it worked. The lesson - just draw. It might end up great, it might be terrible, but you'll never really know until you try.


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