Lets Make a Cover - Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne!
The campaign is going crazy. You're nuts! So we had Scott whip up some fun details about how we did the design for the hardcovers. We're going to go through all the ones that are done in backer posts. Any we don't get through during the campaign will be BACKER only after that point!
From the desk of Scott Wegener -
The reprinting of all the Atomic Robo books as hardcovers has given us a great opportunity to revisit the cover design and implement some changed that I've wanted to see for several years now. Specifically, creating some sort of uniformity across a series of books that hop all through the 20th and 21st Centuries, with a small side trip into the late 19th Century.
The first step was creating a template that could help me bring some structure to a pile of disparate stories that often involved large casts of characters, crazy monsters, and weird technology.Starting with the template that our book designer Jeff Powell created for me I mocked up a logo, title bar, and so forth. (Why this amazing art was never used I will never know.)
With the template more or less figured out the next step was taking stock of what defined each book. Our very first book, The Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne was actually one of the hardest. It contains 5 stories that happen across I don't know how many decades. In the past we'd just used a generic image of Robo doing something cool so we wouldn't have to deal with it.
I knew that I wanted to put the modern-day Action Scientists in the art bar. After all, the book was named for them, so that part was a no-brainer. But how to sum up all the wack-a-doodle stuff that happened in these first five stories?
I wanted each of the covers to have one stand-out character in the main art area. For this first cover it just had to be Robo.
I'm not sure where the idea to have dozens of photos raining down across the cover came from. I was thinking about how old Robo was and had the random thought that he must have a whole closet full of photographs. Next thing you know it's raining 8 by 10 glossies. Or something like that anyway. I mocked up the rough idea and sent it off to Team Robo for discussion.
In fact I roughed out my ideas for all of the covers over the course of a week. Three or four of them were in for major editing before moving on to more refined art.
This was one of the few covers that nobody wanted me to change anything on. You have no idea what a bunch of pains in the neck Team Robo are. I keed I keed! But seriously. Pains. ((Sidenote from the other members of Team Robo - Anyone know a good artist that loves drawing Robots and Action Science and wants a job? Please inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org THANKS!))
Once the rough idea is approved its usually on to a nice tight sketch, but I had such a clear image in my mind by this point that I just jumped straight to final inks. The really time consuming part was thinking up enough iconic little bits of tech or moments from the book to create enough photographs to make things interesting, but not so many that it becomes a cluttered mess.
Finally it's off to Anthony Clark for coloring and Jeff Power for dressing -that fancy industry jargon for "put the logo and stuff on the cover."
Thanks for reading, love,