Here is how the "Cowboy Cerebus" turned out:
I decided to blatantly rip off... uh, I mean... pay homage to... the "Bully for Bugs" Warner Brothers Looney Tunes cartoon.
I hope that's accept-a-bull. (Sorry... that was unpardon-a-bull... sorry again... what an ultra-maroon.)
Here is a commission request that I received from Patrick:
"With my writing partner, I publish a weird little book about how much I love my dog. The series leans on the 'man and dog wander the wasteland' trope to tell a number of different type of stories... I'm looking for a page that sums up a shitty future in one image... The setting for our story is America after a food shortage kills off most people and makes cannibals-of-opportunity out of the rest. Many cities are still intact, but most people have taken to living as far away from others as they can manage... The atomized society, without a single bomb."
After a lot of thought about what the world would look like under these circumstances, and with some thoughts from Patrick, I came up with a kitchen scene - sans zen and feng shui...
I thought: if there's no food you don't need the fridge, then it might make a good gun cabinet; you can store ammo in the freezer.
I wanted one element that contrasted the dim and grim scene and the snow globe idea just cracked me up.
The roaches were the finishing touch: ya just gotta have roaches.
Here's how my inking turned out on Zeck's Kraven piece...
...and here is a quick colour treatment that I did on the computer.
This came out kinda on the purple side and is really just "pre-visualization".
An interesting side note: Charles, who commissioned me to add the backgrounds and colour to this piece, likes the inked version just the way it is and has asked me to colour a print instead. Which is exactly what I was going to suggest to him.
I love it when things work out like that.
Here's a fun sketch Dave did back in '82 that Steven S. has acquired and asked me to do something in the background.
The first thing I did was import the above photo into my image editing software, flatten it out and get rid of the glare. Like this...
...I printed that out and then, since this was a quick, fun sketch, I decided to stay in that vein and do something quick and fun...
I call it, "Wrong Side of the Fence".
Now, when the original arrives in the mail, all I have to do is redraw it full size and, you know... better.
Here is the final version of the cover with dot tone on the Cerebuses which never looks good on a computer screen. The combination of dots on a screen and the dot tones on the characters creates a strange array of squares that will clear up in print.
I had done a colour mock up which I posted here previously but have since learned the the cover will be in black and white.
My intention is to offer commissioned prints of this which I can then hand colour, making each one unique. The book is scheduled to ship this summer -- if Diamond Comics Distributors decide to carry it, that is.