Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Evolution of a Cover Illustration

The first version of the cover illustration was thematically similar, but differed in tone, style, and size from the final version. With the focus upon the Lovecraftian community gathering in Providence for NecronomiCon 2013, I envisioned a congregation of would-be cultists assembled before a high priest who quoted unholy lines from the Book of the Dead and preached the coming of the dread Cthulhu. Taking the lead from the highly anticipated unveiling of the HPL memorial bust at the Atheneum, I included an enlarged version of Bryan Moore's sculpture of Lovecraft for the back cover, which provided a perfect counterpoint to the mythos element; for me, it was important to not let the love of the stories overshadow the man who wrote them.

Realizing my drawing of the high priest resembled author Wilum Pugmire, I continued with caricatures of other convention guests as a little tribute to the individuals who have given so much to fans of Lovecraft over the years. In the end, I opted for a more serious approach to the illustration, redrawing and resizing it from a quarter page digest to the standard half-page zine. Even though the tone and style changed, the high priest, Cthulhu altar, and Lovecraft statue remained. (I call this the "final illustration" for now, as I'm working on a larger color version I hope to make available as a print in the future.)

Below are two early thumbnail sketches that provided a germ of inspiration:

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