One of the hardest problems to solve in the final Junkyard Moon cover design is Jack’s costume and pose. Here he is, sitting on the ground next to Iowa’s armchair, with the Professor’s tail sketched in the foreground. It’s not a brilliant composition, and his legs should be a lot less chickenlike, but it captures a certain sweetness that is an essential part of Jack’s character. The pose in the drawing that is going to be the finished pencils is similar, but not identical.
And, yes, there actually is a final drawing, though it is still in the early stages. I finally made the hard decisions on how I’m going to handle the original art– the front and back covers will be drawn on separate 10 inch squares, then reduced at the copy shop to a size my scanner can handle before I digitize them for coloring and further manipulation. This was not an easy choice to make, but I balanced the loss in image quality from adding an extra scan against the advantages of drawing much larger than finished size and decided that the smoothing effect of the reduction was worth the risk. Line quality is less important overall in an image like this than it is in page of comics, since it is intended to be finished on color. Of course, the whole problem could be solved if I had an 11 x17 flatbed scanner, but said scanner is unlikely to make a miraculous appearance in the next week!
Should Jack wear street clothes on the cover, or his junkyard uniform, or should he be in full costume as Foursquare? That question provoked another spirited internal debate. The original idea works well here– Jack is wearing the pants and boots from his costume, along with one of the Foursquare T-shirts that are so fashionable in Kekionga.