Friday, 20 September 2013

Hi Kickstarter buddies,

Here's another update for you on the work in progress for the 1001 Nights comic.  This time it's the cover which is really important to get right - it needs to do a lot of things: catch the eye, capture some of the story and characters in one image, introduce the Opus Pocus "brand", include the rather lengthy title, promote Brian Blessed & Rory Bremner's names and generally give a great first impression - all in one easily digestible page.  We really think we've managed to do all that, and we've let you in on the intricate processes this involved below.  But without further ado, here it is...




And here's how we got there, starting with our designer Mandy's first ideas and suggestions drawing on some established examples:



Bearing this in mind Mandy started knocking together a few different layouts to see what might work.  We were still working on the character design here so you can see their transformation from this too...







...before settling on the whole title at the top, Brian & Rory's names at the bottom, and some sort of gravestone idea to make sure we mention it's a comic book with some connection to classical music, as you can see below.  Here Mandy started to make a few different font suggestions for the title, and also finalised the great Opus Pocus logo at the top...

 


Feeling that things were looking good but the gravestone was fighting a little bit with the rest of the image we settled on the following.  We'll keep the gravestone for the back cover - it'll be a nice touch to include for all the composers in the series.  Er, I guess just the dead ones...




 ...and by having "The Opus Pocus Comics" at the top we've solved how to make sure people know it's a comic book straight away, and the classical music is mentioned at the bottom so this is covered too.  So for other parts of the project we'll have The Opus Pocus CDs, The Opus Pocus Apps, The Opus Pocus Live etc which I think works really well.  Note also Faye's brilliant character development - a smart looking Scheherazade, a smug looking Sinbad, and a "putting a brave face on it" baboon - fantastic!  

Next came a colour test:




But I was a bit concerned that we're planning to do Swan Lake for the next title in the series and this would be a similar blue colour scheme.  So we asked Faye to do a yellowy-orange sunset and to really ramp up the drama with some very strongly contrasted light and shade, and what a result...




So dramatic and eye-catching - brilliant stuff.  Plus we've got Sinbad looking even more smug with the way he's holding his waistcoat.  We just needed a couple more bits of detail for the final version: a bit more sea spray, a slightly lighter contrast with a darker night sky, and more of the baboon's tail.  Plus Mandy had the final fonts sorted, and one other thing I insisted on: being a trombone player it has to be a brass mouthpiece on the "S" of Opus Pocus not a woodwind one!!  So here it is again in all its glory...



I am absolutely delighted with the results - I hope you are too - and as you can see Faye and Mandy have been working their socks off to get it looking this good, so a huge thanks to them.

The insides are still on course for November - we think it'll be towards the end of the month but not long now.  And I hope this cover convinces you it's been worth the wait...

Have a cracking weekend and will be in touch again soon.

Best wishes
Matt