Saturday, December 31, 2011

Once more, it's your chance to rip me a new one.

Well, last week I wanted to show that I'm not above criticism, and boy did you let me have it; from insightful comments, down to the really nit-picky. And to be honest, I couldn't argue with most of them. Like I've said many times, I'm not a perfect artist. The logo treatment on the Punisher cover was my fault. I got fixated on the idea without thinking about where the logo was going to land. Also, Electra's anatomy was a bit off. However, the good thing about comic book covers is you always have a chance to get it right the next month. Speaking of which, here's the only one that's out this week from yours truly, but before anyone lays into me about how Mars isn't interacting with the ground or Spaceman, I didn't want it to. It's more of a graphic element. That's why there's no shadow. I was going more for 60's weirdness (like Richard Powers) than illustration reality. Most, if not all the Spaceman covers will be a bit off in this way. It's a unique book after all, and I just want something that jumps off the stands.


  1. I don´t see anything wrong with this one, in fact I think that is pretty awesome...

    And happy new year by the way! :)

  2. Eye-catching but not terribly engaging.

    But as a series...if you've come this far, you're not as beholden from an audience perspective to expect as much from a cover.

    In an of seems simple and uninspired.


  3. I like this one a lot.

    If I had a suggestion, it would be to break the sense of the proscenium a little -- Spaceman's a little too conventionally front and center, making the cover flatter than it could be. Push him into the background, making him smaller and letting the setting overwhelm the scene, or bring him forward and let him dominate, and either on those would feel stronger to me.

    But this is plenty strong as is; I'm just nit-picking.

  4. is he in water... or rock... why is where he meets so perfect like hes "phasing". im just confused by this. water should have rings or waves or whatever... if its rock maybe some imperfect edges... its all a bit too smooth...
    unless he is phasing. then its perfect i suppose. its making me ask questions so maybe that a good thing. i want to know whats going on.

    thats it. im feeling what shane and kurt are saying too... but ultimately this is a rad eyepopping cover. good job.

  5. What strikes me is how the type and the illustration interact successfully without competing or encroaching on another. You even got the kerning right.

    The overall composition of the cover is a very strong design. Almost like a flag flipped on its side. Very very good cover in my eyes!

  6. Here are some quick thoughts about the cover.

    1. I would’ve liked to see more despair in the character’s body language and facial expression. It feels like Spaceman is posing for the viewer, and not reacting to the fact that he is floating in the middle of nowhere. Maybe it’s because I just saw the Muppets, but the mouth reminds me of Beaker or Kermit opening their mouths.
    2. I appreciate the subtle golden rectangle design. While the obvious clue is the vertical axis of the raised arm, the placement of the other arm also follows the phi curve.
    3. I'm torn about the typography. I'll have to see how it looks in print and on the shelf to get a better feel for it... Judging from what I see on my computer screen, I follow this hierarchy: Mars > Spaceman > Credits > Flag on top. After following the vertical axis from bottom to top, I struggle to make sense of the glyphs that partially contain Mars: A, C, E, and M. The strong contrast between black, red, and the light, reddish brown confuses my brain and strains my eyesight. It might be because of the brightness of my computer screen, so that's why I want to see the printed product to get a better impression. However, this issue goes away when I look at the cover at a small scale or when I squint at it.

    I just discovered your blog and look forward to catching up to past entries.

  7. Mr. Johnson, first I would like to thank you for this blog. The insights and examples have helped me greatly in my upcoming endeavors. I also appreciate your candid behaviour, some may see this site as mean, but anyone who has ever had art critiqued has gotten far worse said to them without the helpful comments.

    That being said, I decided to take a stab and edit the above cover. I hope you don't take this as being forward.

    Before that, I like this image, it's very striking and draws the eye. I wouldn't doubt there is an awesome comic under that cover.

    Ok, on to me embarassing myself...

    1: Reducing the figure and moving the right hand a little lower. By reducing the figure I think it adds a bit more dread to the situation and reduces the left hands' interaction with shadows of the planet, which was something that distracted my eye. Moving the the right hand seems to give the figure more movement.

    2: Increasing the shading in the center of the arm and head. Again , I think that increases the dread factor and isolation of being in open water.

    3: Red Glow in the water to enforce the planets dominance in the image.

    The link below should take you to the image.

    Again, thanks for the awesomeness of this site. I don't know $#*!, but you are helping.