Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sketchbook: Entry 10

A couple of years ago I had received a call asking for my credentials as a mystery/pulp/noir illustrator. The call came from a Chicago design firm, requesting to see my portfolio to present to their client. The project was a series of detective illustrations for an ad campaign for a commercial real estate group. At the time I had just been interviewed for The Mystery Channel about film noir, pulp art and the popularity of crime comics from DC and Moonstone. So, the mention of the interview along with my images, I was awarded the campaign of 5 illustrations.
It's good to have "street cred".
The designer was part of the concept process all the way through. We leafed through books on film noir posters and detective pulp and paperback covers. I then presented about 3 to 5 thumbnails per subject, possible type fonts and color palette choices.
Here's two out of the bunch along with the presentation drawing.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sketchbook: Entry 9 (Hey Toughguy!)

This is a thumbnail for the first Jack Hagee: PI cover for Moonstone Books a few years ago. I still have this thumbnail in my files but the original finished drawing that came after this thumbnail is in the collection of Hagee's creator and author, C. J. Henderson. I seemed to have misplaced a scan of the finished pencil drawing that came after. (But, I will continue to search).
I took some of my favorite elements of film noir and worked with the shapes, shadows and attitude. I sat in my studio, dimmed the lights and fell into Hagee's noir world. As I began sketching I swore I heard his chair squeak as it turned toward me and say, "So... how 'bout it?"

For a second Jack Hagee cover we went for a bit more action with a pulp inspired cover. But, he's not helping a damsel in distress here. Behind the locked door is the wife or the girlfriend, caught in a game of lies. And Jack hates this part of his job...