Every so often the guys over at Archie Comics shoot me an email and ask me to do a cover for them. I find these great fun because they are so far removed from what I usually do. I think being able to handle a myriad of subject matter is important for any illustrator/artist. I really think if you are good, you should be able to draw any subject matter well. I, like most artists, am striving to be good. So bring on the curveballs!
This cover is for the 1st issue of the 10th wedding anniversary of Archie and Veronica mini-series. Apparently this takes place in the future. Being married with kids myself ( a lot longer than 10 years) I thought what domestic situation can I play for laughs with these characters?
The most obvious to me was, Dad comes home from work and he is supposed to be spending time with the kids or maybe he has been enlisted by his wife to watch the kids and he falls asleep on the couch. Wife is annoyed. So I came up with this sketch.
They liked it but they didn’t want Archie asleep. I’m not sure if it was my idea or theirs to have Archie playing video games with his son. I thought this could be funny too if he was more into the game than his son and completely ignoring Veronica. Of course, she is still annoyed.
I just took the original sketch and changed Archie. I drew him separately and then combined him the existing sketch through Photoshop..
They liked it, I liked it, we all liked it. So I penciled it and it looked something like this. At least in the early stages.
I took this final full sized rough and light tabled it onto another board and then added the circle motif in the background and inked it. This time almost entirely with a pen. I was trying to get a heavier dead line weight effect.
The circle motif is there to recreate the nostalgic feeling you get from Leyendecker or Rockwell’s work on the Saturday Evening Post covers they are both so famous for. Nothing says “Americana” to me more than Archie!
I then jumped into the coloring. I scanned the image and colored it in Photoshop. I kept it simple as I am want to do.
I added the rug after the fact because it started to feel like the kids were floating and I needed something to ground them. I used some square shaped brush tools to “paint” the background and suddenly I have a Leyendecker Saturday Evening Post Cover! (except not as good)
Here it is with the Cover Logo added.
Thanks for coming by and I will have more Archie soon, along with a Wonder Woman cover!