March 21, 2012

Basewood Cover Design: Part 1

I am currently in the process of working with my Belgian publisher, L'employ√© du Moi to put together the French edition of my graphic novel Basewood, which I recently finished.  Over the next couple of weeks I will be writing some posts about the cover design process, which hopefully you will all find interesting and informative.

My initial plan for the U.S. edition of Basewood involved applying for the very last Xeric Self-Publishing Grant, which was due at the end of February.  For the grant application, I needed to turn in six copies of my book, so I decided to use print-on-demand.  I thought it would be cool to make a temporary cover image, just so the project looked a bit more finished.  Here was the sketch of my first idea:

If you are not familiar with Basewood, it is an amnesiac story.  The protagonist wakes up in the woods and has no idea how he got there.  As a reader, you travel with him on his journey as he discovers his surroundings and uncovers the mystery of his past.  So! Initially, I was really worried about the cover image not giving away too much of the story, because, you know, if it shows one of the big surprises from the story, it will no longer be a surprise inside the book!  The above idea is basically a recomposition of the very first page of Basewood.  In fact, I was able to make the mock-up cover for the print-on-demand edition just by grabbing elements from that first page and a few other pages from the book and coloring them:  


Of course, when I showed this to the guys at L'employ√© du Moi, they were not impressed...  So it was back to the drawing board!  Or in this case, my sketchbook.  I cranked out two or three pages of thumbnails (click this to see it bigger).


Next week we'll see which sketches made it to the next round of drawings!

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