Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 234

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Captain Midnight #1 Variant Cover. 2013.
Photoshop, ~7 × 10.5″ @400 ppi.

This hit stands last month (preview here), but I wanted to show some of the inspiration behind the cover. The older I get, the more I realize how important graphic design is to art in general and comics in particular, so I've been looking to 50 Watts, an eclectic collection of illustration and design for classic examples. The sole criterion seems to be "damn good."

check out 20 Swedish posters... for more examples 

As for process, the cover was assembled in Photoshop with a vectored assist from Illustrator — that's the easiest way to create letters from scratch and all manner of graphics. The spatter was made with a custom brush, but I've since found an easier way to achieve the same effect. Setting the mode to "dissolve" on a standard airbrush works wonders, and since it only uses one color (i.e. no variation in opacity) the pattern remain easily selectable with the magic wand. The final step — on this and all my digitally colored covers — is to "activate" the solid color with a subtle grain filter. It gives your eyes something to grab on to, replacing the pristine computer glaze with a more printed look.

and here's another 30


  1. I always enjoy your Wacky Wednesday posts to see the creative processes but I really enjoyed this particular post because of the retro inspiration, how graphic design was involved and how relativity simple and easy it was to create this cover.

    1. Thanks! Although I have to say, these digital covers are deceptively simple — it still takes about the same amount of time as a regular cover, especially when creating the lettering from scratch.

  2. Wow! Those all look really great!


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Design out of the FlyBird's Box.