Death of Hawkman #4 Cover Musings

When I started this new Hawkman series for DC Comics, I was bound and determined to finally settle on a consistent look for my finished work. Those are things you can’t always control on the interiors because of the availability of inkers and what they bring stylistically to the finished work.  However, I can control that on my covers, illustrations and on some interiors depending on deadlines allowing me to ink myself.  I am through experimenting with different tools and returning to my first love, the brush.

Style has always been important in comics and being called “old fashioned” is never a welcome compliment ( I prefer “neo-classic”).  But I’ve realized that any style can be great and attractive to new and old readers as long as it’s well done.  That’s the key.  The composition, story-telling and draftsmanship are all part of the equation.  In other words, it’s not about what you do but how well you do it.

So instead of wasting time trying to constantly figure out what the reading audience might want to see or might react more positively to, I am moving forward doing what I do as best I can do it.   Striving for what I always have, consistent growth.  So with all of this firmly planted in our minds, let’s move forward with the cover to Death of Hawkman #4.

HawkmanAScoversketchesC&D HawkmanAScoversketchesA&B

I really wasn’t 100% sure of what I wanted to do with this cover so the result of my indecision was 4 cover sketches.  “D” got the green light so I moved to the penciling stage.  Unfortunately for some strange reason I don’t have a scan of the pencil for this cover.   One of the hazards of inking yourself is forgetting to scan the pencils; something I have made a habit of doing.

So let’s quickly move to the inks to save myself further embarrassment.  I inked the final pencils with a brush.  The lighting effect along with the use of more solid blacks gives this cover a nice sense of drama and three-dimensional weight.



As with all of the Hawkman covers, Brad Anderson is doing the colors.  Brad is one of my favorite colorists in the business so it was no surprise that he did another great job with this one.


There you have it.  Another finished cover.  Since I am running way behind on my blogs and I have already finished covers #5 and #6, I will get those posted up here in short order.  Until then….

2 thoughts on “Death of Hawkman #4 Cover Musings

  1. Aaron,

    The color hold on the explosion helps the figures stand out, but diminishes the power of the blast. How do you balance these types of design challenges while developing a composition?



  2. You always have to make a choice as to what is the focus of the illustration. Should my attention be on the explosion or the characters first? If your background elements are just as vivid as your foreground elements than your eye doesn’t know where to go, it just becomes one mass of color. Your eye goes first to the center of the illustration where the bright white of the explosion is and then branches out to the figures. At the same time because of the background color hold you are getting separation of the background and foreground elements creating the illusion of depth. At least that is the hope.

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