Friday, March 7, 2008
Ash-Tree Press is to be commended for their commitment to keeping classics of supernatural fiction in print. City of the Sea and Other Ghost Stories by Jerome K. Jerome is their latest book. The assignment was offered to me in February 2008. Chris Roden, the publisher, phoned me, explaining that the project was late and that there was "no time" to contact another illustrator). This is a left-handed tribute that means: 1) other illustrators were probably considered first; 2) I was probably considered last; 3) other illustrators were probably too busy; 4) I probably had nothing better to do. Etcetera. The original black and white image--from inventory--did not really refer to a sunken city. But, owing to judicious color selection (two ink colors) , the artwork manages to evoke an antediluvian megalopolis. Perhaps I should have added a starfish, guppies, and a brine-rusted anchor.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
This artwork was created for volume 4 of The Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith published by Night Shade Books. The graphic designer for the publisher will mute and darken the excessively vibrant colors so that the eyes of potential readers will not be injured . . . and portions of the mundane imagery will be obscured by innovative graphical devices (e.g., color stripes). The statues on the left are carefully positioned so that the largest possible barcode can conceal them. The strategic placement of the elements on the back cover also allow the designer's name to appear at exactly the same size as the name of the illustrator, lest anyone suppose that the months of effort that it takes to create an illustration is somehow more significant than the half-day that it takes a designer to craft a cover layout. All of these measures hint at the impossibility of creating an effective layout if the illustration is left unweakened.