Time for another installment of “How Many Cover Sketches Can be Rejected?” before we land on the right one? Today’s contestant is Gotham Adventures #2, perhaps one of my favorite covers for a bunch of reasons.
Let’s start with the first round:
For the time I was on the various Batman books, I tried to make sure all the #2 issues (including #12 and #22) were Two-Face stories. Not just because of the obvious connection to the #2, but it allowed me to write a Two-Face story at least once a year. Considering he’s one of the best characters in fiction, I’m no fool, and I wanted at him as much as I could. Gotham Adventures #2 was about Harvey Dent meeting his father on the set of a live TV show, to steal his prize money and destroy his father’s life.
That’s why there’s lotto machines in the background and money on the ground. I was very interested in making sure BATGIRL was on the cover, since she was a new regular addition to the series at this point, I wanted to feature her as much as I could.
I usually give the editor three sketches as a rule, but all three of my first group were passed up and I was asked to do another sketch to get to the right one. So back to the drawing board, I came up with a few more, focusing on the black and white element to the animated Two-Face design.
In the same batch was the following image, which I strongly pushed to be the cover…but was leery, because it didn’t have Batman on it. (Something I usually included in my group of sketches, as the editors often allowed it).
But I was on the right track, and this final sketch was the one that we all liked. It still didn’t feature Batman, but it was striking enough to get that thumbs up.
Normally, I get a little testy if I have to do more than three sketches, but in this case, our fearless editor (Darren Vincenzo at this time) pushed me for the right reasons…as the final turned out GREAT.
I LOVED that they let me play with the logo. I loved that I was allowed to run a cover in black and white on a “kids book” which is usually VERY colourful on the cover. And I love that it feels balanced between the black and the white, without being symmetrical. A winner all around.
The best part was that the cover was so simple in its linework, that I penciled and inked it at print size…the size of the original sketch, in fact. The original art for this was ten inches by seven inches…MUCH smaller than the average cover would be drawn. Because if its tiny size, it’s one of the few Gotham Adventures covers I still own, as I can’t really sell something that’s so small to a collector.
I don’t recall why, but it’s one of the few covers I didn’t sign.
Ty the Guy OUT!
Here now: Your Gotham Adventures #2 bonus moment:
When the cover ran in Previews and online, someone from the art department had added the yellow of his eye, believing that I meant for that “spot of colour” to give it extra oomph. Fortunately, I happened to spot this before it went to print, it went out without the yellow.
Tune in later this week, I’m itching to start showing off the goodies that are coming up in the all-new Holmes Incorporated Comic that I edit for The Toronto Cartoonist Workshop. You can check out the early, early previews HERE.