Creating a Cover: Young Justice #8

I’m not going to cover some of the same basics as I did in the previous Creating a Cover post, but instead will limit myself to the process specific to this cover.

Tasked with drawing a cover for Young Justice #8, which I knew was part 2 of a 2-parter focusing on Artemis. The bulk of the story consisted of cutting back-and-forth between two action set pieces: Artemis vs. dozens of robotic MONQI droids (Mobile Optimal Neural Quotient Infiltrators), and the rest of the Young Justice team fighting the android Amazo. If you read my Creating a Cover breakdown for Young Justice #7, you know that I deliberately avoided referencing any that action on my cover for that issue, as those were both initiated as a cliffhanger ending to that issue and I didn’t want to either spoil then ending or unfairly tease action that was to mainly be found in issue #8. Well here we are with the cover to issue #8, so now my cover ideas revolve around those two scenarios!

YJ #8 cover sketch a

YJ #8 cover sketch a

YJ #8 cover sketch b
YJ #8 cover sketch b

I did four cover sketches this time around, although they were all variations on just a couple of themes. Sketches A and B both showed MONQI droids swarming over Artemis. Sketch A was a tighter shot, which I thought would be cool from a design standpoint, with Artemis drowning in a sea of MONQIs. Sketch B was essentially the same, but pulling out wider – the advantage of this version being that I could create greater depth by showing some MONQIs larger in the foreground in addition to the ones swarming over Artemis.

YJ #8 cover sketch c

YJ #8 cover sketch c

YJ #8 cover sketch d

YJ #8 cover sketch d

Sketch C showed the other major action scenario from the issue – Superboy, Kid Flash and Robin fighting the powerful Amazo android in a gymnasium setting. It  was a great visual, but I wasn’t sure if the powers-that-be would want a cover without Artemis or not. On the one hand she was prominently featured on the previous month’s cover and it’s nice to change things up from issue to issue.  On the other hand, this is still part 2 of a story focusing on the character, which led me to Sketch D, which was simply a split-screen view of sketches B and C. I thought this approach had the advantage of featuring more characters and showing both major action threads from the story.

YJ #8 cover pencils

YJ #8 cover pencils

YJ #8 cover inks

YJ #8 cover inks

Sketch A was chosen, so the next step was the straightforward task of penciling and inking the artwork. This was done by hand with brushes and pens on bristol art paper. The scanned inks were touched up a little digitally in Photoshop.

YJ #8 cover color guide

YJ #8 cover color guide

YJ #8 cover color

YJ #8 cover color

The image was so busy with detail and partially seen figures that I created a color guide to clarify what everything was. The final color was again by Zak Atkinson who did his usual fine job.

And finally, here’s the finished cover, with masthead, logos and other finishing elements.

YJ #08 cover w logos

YJ #08 cover w logos

I’ll be doing more Creating a Cover breakdowns, featuring Young Justice, The Batman Strikes, and other titles!