Monday, June 3

Bury the Lead: Making the Cover

The Sarcastic Voyage podcast crew contacted me about possibly doing a cover for an offshoot project. They were making a long-form radio drama/comedy in the style of the pulp noir shows of the 1940s. Would I want to do it?

Did they know I spend every workday listening to Anticoh 1710? That I schedule my lunch breaks around the daily format of frontier shows/theatre/cop shows/detective shows/suspense/danger abroad/scifi/masked heroes? Could they have known?

I jumped at the chance.

I got a few descriptions to start and worked those up in a sketch at lunchtime. 

I tightened that up a scoash.

Then I worked up a final pencil sketch.

This is actually the almost final sketch as I was asked to cover her knees. That done, I scanned it and started building it in Illustrator.

I compiled a lot of reference based on suggestions from the podcasters. I brought Sherilyn Fenn from Twin Peaks into it, adding her eyebrows to the main face model from His Girl Friday. I used an online pulp cover collection for color reference. All the images helped get the clothes right too.

This is the cover as we approach the finished version. I built the piece beyond the borders of the image. Notice the floating hand on the right. That's all I needed for that guy. No reason to draw the entire arm.

And here's the end product with cover text.


  1. WOW! I love this, it is just too cool! It reminds me of the episode of Castle where it all took place in the forties. This is definitely one of my favorite illustrations that you've done! :)

    1. It's similar to the pulp cover I did in November, and I was worried about copying that one too much.