the “magic” cover

A week or so ago, Mr. Bob Corby offered me the opportunity to do the cover for this year’s OH Comics! anthology.  And I have been working on it, honest, though several days were lost to the thing that was not the stomach flu.  Now the pencils are almost finished, and I thought you might want to see the work in progress.

First, I had to figure out that my reference photo needed to be flipped.  In the distant past, this would have involved sketching in a mirror, but nowadays it’s a matter of about three keystrokes in your image management software package of choice.dogwizard11-project-mirror-50The backwards lettering on the boxes is a dead giveaway.

Then I did a sketch of the way I need the dog to look on the cover itself–in the real world the hat covers up both the dire corgi’s ears, but there’s no need for that to happen in comics world.dogwizardsketchI decided it was funnier to have one ear passing magically through the hat, while the other was smooshed down under the brim.

Here’s the current state of the final pencil art:dogwizardcover-wip-pencilIt’s mostly blocked out except for the pesky question of what’s on top of the bookcase to the reader’s left.  I’ve tried a coelacanth, a large koi, a sharkipede and a dragon in various thumbnails,  but none of them have quite worked.  I’ll take a bash at it in my sketchbook later tonight in front of the TV.  I know the dog’s pose isn’t quite right– there’s a softness in the original sketch that is missing here, but I am working on it.

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8 Responses to the “magic” cover

  1. Sean K. says:

    Goodness, is that an original Macintosh computer on the upper right? Is it an example of Mr. Clarke’s “sufficiently advanced technology”?

  2. Pam Bliss says:

    It is! I am so glad someone recognized it. Hopefully, it will look more like the original when I correct the art and then color it an appropriate color. I don’t know why, but when I came up with the idea for this drawing and was trying to think of what to put on the shelves, an old Macintosh was the first thing that came to mind. It just seemed like the kind of thing that someone who would accidentally turn himself into a dog would have on his shelf. It was originally going to say “hello” like the one in the original ad, but then it occurred to me to make it say “magic”, which incorporates the issue title into the cover art in a more organic way.

    I wanted one of those Macintoshes in the *worst way* when they first came out– they sure seemed like magic to me.

  3. Wolfie says:

    Atop the bookcase…
    A magician’s top hat?
    The Magic School Bus?
    A big Magic 8-Ball?
    A giant octopus (wearing a top hat)
    Looks good so far!

  4. Rick Santman says:

    What, no Lunokhod?

  5. Pam Bliss says:

    Rick is right on the nail. Right after I posted this I tried penciing in a Lunokhod on top of the book case. The big problem is space– the image has to be so small that it gets fiddly and will be hard to interpret. Lunokhod is also really hard to draw, and I really don’t want to experiment on a color piece. I’m far from a skilled or experienced colorist, so I kind of need to keep things simple.

  6. Rick Santman says:

    Snornk. Howsabout a commemorative Elvis or Nascar plate in a wire display rack? (Ducks and runs, laughing)

  7. Pam Bliss says:

    yeah. run away, Santman. Though that’s actually a pretty funny idea.

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