|Published by Magic Wagon, a division of ABDO, in September 2013|
When I started the process for this cover the initial problem I fixated on was how to show the boys in a graveyard, close enough to see expressions, but not so close that I couldn't get some eerie graveyard details in the mix. I flipped through a lot of old graveyard pictures trying to get inspiration. Of course I also needed to leave room for those teensie details known as the title and creator credits.
My first stab at it looked like this:
This sketch was well received but the title needed to be in the top third of the illustration for marketing purposes. Oops, back to the drawing table. "What about a wrought iron sign with the boys and graveyard under it?" was one suggestion. I tried this but never did get anything I just loved:
More flipping through pictures of graveyards. Then I came across some pictures of old mausoleums... ah-haaa...
Now we were on to something. First I did this rough:
The creative specs required a 1 inch bleed around the top, bottom and right side of the piece so I filled up that area with good graveyard details. They may not be visible on the final book but I had fun doing them and they make the piece work better as a stand-alone illustration:
Finally the finished piece:
I did my own type treatment also, although the designers at Magic Wagon, didn't use it - theirs is much better!