Anatomy of a Cover: José and the Pirate Captain Toledano!
We’re one month out from the publication date of my graphic novel José and the Pirate Captain Toledano! (Click here to pre-order it on Amazon!)
Today, I thought it’d be fun to take a deep dive into the process of creating the book’s cover.
The process began with a series of sketches — doodles, really! — that I did about a year before I actually drew the cover. This was early in the process of my illustrating the pages; Arnon and I thought we should look ahead and start thinking about ideas for the cover.
We put this aside for a while while I finished drawing the book. Then, as I was finishing up painting the pages, it was time to return to the cover. I did a series of sketches to explore different cover concepts. Here are a few of them:
Over a period of a few weeks, I continued doing additional sketches and experimenting with different ideas:
Then I hit on this montage idea, which Arnon and I liked a lot, as did our partners at our publisher, Kar-Ben. They felt this was the strongest cover concept so far, so I did some experimenting with the layout until we agreed on a version we all liked:
Kar-Ben asked for a few additional adjustments (such as increasing the size of José within the image), and then I inked the piece:
With Kar-Ben’s approval, I painted the cover, adding watercolor washes over my inks:
I then tweaked and corrected the painting using Photoshop. And here is the finished layout, along with the awesome title treatment created by the talented team at Kar-Ben:
Thanks for reading! You can click here to pre-order José and the Pirate Captain Toledano right now! Thanks everyone for your support — I can’t wait for everyone to be able to hold the book in their hands when it comes out next month!
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