The Deluxe version of the upcoming Time F*cker book is coming into focus. This deluxe edition will come packaged in a resealable black plastic bag with special labeling. It will also include one of the very limited edition buttons described in the image above. There will be more extra special bonuses but this is all I can confirm for now. I'll have more information as we get closer to release.
Since it's completion at the end of April, I've been both brainstorming story ideas for the next few installments as well as prepping the first Time Fucker story for print. It's going to be an expensive venture so I can't make any promises about a release date so I'm offering these images as incentive and update. Folks who've seen versions of this material on Twitter or Instagram will notice that all instances of the F word have been 'censored'. Having an explicit cover would certainly be ballsy but it would also severely hobble this already tough sell. If comics sites can't show the cover, then that's a problem. Fear not, the interior pages will be in their original presentation. The book will have a full color cover with black and white interiors. It will be 32 pages saddle stitched and the print run will likely be very limited (500 or less).
Marathon tells the epic tale of the original long distance runner. In 490 BC, an Athenian messenger named Eucles ran twenty-seven miles from Sparta to Athens, and in so doing preserved ancient Greek civilization from subjugation to the Persian Empire.
That's a very broad overview of the book but it's representative of the first step for creating any cover. Know your book! When I sat down to do the cover, I understood that our protagonist needed to be featured prominently in a direct and compelling way that also illustrated the books high intensity and relentless, grueling action. The thumbnails (images 1-6 below) reflect the various solutions I came up with to try and deliver that message.
With thumbnails, you can nail it within your first few drawings but often times innovation comes from going beyond those immediate solutions and challenging your creativity. My initial tactic was to use some of the dramatic moments leading up to the war at Marathon where Eucles both physically and spiritually leads the Athenian army into battle. Writer Boaz Yakin was correct in pointing out that this only represented a small part of the story and asked to see some cover treatments where Eucles was not in armor. The third page of thumbnails and beyond reflect this change. I then tried showing Eucles dressed in just a loin cloth either running towards the vast Persian army or racing it's fleet back to Athens (image 4). The pitfall with the latter idea was it could be misconstrued that the lone runner was running away from the Persian army. That wouldn't be heroic and it wouldn't be appropriate to the story. The last act of Marathon is spent following Eucles and a band of soldiers as they struggle to outrace a secondary invading fleet heading directly to Athens' shores. My solution to this was to eliminate the Persian force and return to just Eucles and the Greek army. After a few variations with this, the team at First Second and Boaz all agreed that the best solution was the first thumbnail in image 6.
The next step is to pencil a full size version of the cover (image 7). Once I had approval on this, I was cleared to go ahead with the inks (image 8). Inking Marathon was done using a high contrast print of the pencils as my starting point. I then added ink washes and line work to finish the image (image 9). When I colored the cover, I tinted the inks with the same pantone as was used in the interior pages to ensure a consistent look between the full color cover and the monochromatic interior pages. After a few failed attempts (not shown), I settled on two color treatments; one with a full color background (image 9) and the other with an intense red background (image 10). At this stage there was no consensus on which. Colleen AF Venable, First Second's designer, created two versions (images 11 and 12). I had an idea for what I would like to see for the logo for the red cover and Colleen intuited that perfectly! That is why I think the red cover with white logo was met with such unanimous praise and agreement.
The final cover (top) shows Colleen's brilliant final type treatment for the logo. The whole thing comes together wonderfully and delivers the key epic story elements and emotional intensity that is the heart of Marathon.
Marathon by Boaz Yakin and Joe Infurnari hits bookstores and comic shops early June 2012.
This post was originally presented at Trip City.
Today marks the launch of a new web initiative I am part of called Trip City. A Brooklyn-Filtered Literary Arts Salon, Trip City's membership draws from a broad spectrum of concerns and disciplines. Comics, photography, music, prose, art and illustration all have a home there thanks to the site's diverse membership. I have the good fortune of working alongside talented friends and colleagues like Dean Haspiel, Seth Kushner, Nick Abadzis, Kevin Colden, Nick Bertozzi, Jen Ferguson, Amy Finkel, Jennifer Hayden, Chris Miskiewicz, Jeff UK, and Ron Scalzo. Already at the site, you will find Seth Kushner's Culture Pop profile of author and creator of the hit television show, Jonathan Ames. Already at the site are new comics by Kevin Colden and Chris Miskiewicz, art from the two Nicks (Abadzis and Bertozzi) and the two Jennifers (Ferguson and Hayden) and a full length podcast with founding members of Trip City as well as an interview with Michael Moore!
So please head on over to Trip City and share your thoughts through our comments section, like it on Facebook and if so inclined, tweet about it. Your thoughts and support are a big part of why we do this. Thank you.
On Drawbridge today, the theme is Bionic Bigfoot! I loved the Six Million Dollar Man television show as a kid and the bigfoot storyline was a huge deal. As some of you may know, Andre the Giant played the bigfoot! How cool is that!? So here's my take on the whole thing…
There’s a new Slush Pile installment available at SlushPileFunnies.com. This one’s called, “The Happiness of Wonder Toe”. Enjoy!
I'll admit things have been quiet here for a while. Besides the very long graphic novel I've been illustrating, I've been squeezing in some time for another side project, Slush Pile Funnies. Slush Pile Funnies is a gallery of some of my worst ideas become a reality. I'm really stretching the alchemical model here, folks. Here's the blurb from the About page:
Every artist has ideas that we reject. We call them ‘bad ideas’ for any number of reasons and choose to focus our efforts on the ‘good ideas’. What if we did the opposite? What if we forced ourselves to entertain these denizens of our cerebral Salon des Refusés? How would you develop them and what form would they take? Would you still think they were ‘bad’ when you were finished? Can this mental base matter be transmuted into some kind of gold? If so, would you still believe in the existence of ‘bad’ ideas? Maybe the ultimate question is, “are there any bad ideas for art?” I don’t know but these questions are certainly a good place to start and they are the genesis of Slush Pile Funnies!
This site will be an online anthology of story ideas for graphic novels and comics that have been developed into various stages. Some will be transformed into covers while others will have one-page synopses, excerpts etc. Most will be the product of my own warped imagination but as the site builds steam, I hope to have more contributions coming from guest creators and readers.
So there you have it. Take a look and if you're moved to do so, please leave a comment. In the coming weeks, I expect I'll send out official press releases and try to drum up some exposure. In the meantime, enjoy!
In his NY Times holiday guide to graphic novel gift giving, George Gene Gustines has included The Act-i-vate Primer! Here's what he had to say,
'Act-I-Vate Primer'The “Act-I-Vate Primer” is not for everyone, but it opens a window to the world of free, online comics. Named after the Web collective that created the collection’s 16 stories (some of which contain strong language and sexual situations), the anthology is a mixed bag. Dean Haspiel’s “Bring Me the Heart of Billy Dogma,” a love story between the title character and Jane Legit, is one of the best. It continues the bombastic tone, sexual escapades and striking color palette of the continuing Web series. Other highlights include “The Boy Who Came to Stay,” “Veils” and “Memoirs of the ‘Kid Immortal.’” (IDW, $24.99)