Thursday, March 25, 2010

Black Buzzard

Adrian Tomine sent me this image and asked if I could imitate the lettering. This was the original cover to Black Blizzard, but was not drawn by Tatsumi. Adrian also said he wanted the title to resemble a pulp paperback. I was thrilled and slightly puzzled to get the assignment.

I looked through an old Speedball lettering manual and found an alphabet whose characters were vaguely kanji like.

This was the first sketch.

Next was pencils and inks. The outline was in case Adrian wanted to knock out a white shape around the letters. The trickiest part was making sure the "L" and "I" didn't merge, turning the logo into "Black Buzzard." This became the final art, and Adrian opted to fill in the letterforms so as less to compete with a busy layout.

Here were two other attempts. The first was maybe more in the spirit of the original image, but ended up being too "chop socky."

This was my personal favorite, more rustic and rough hewn, with the old snow gimmick. I tried a sketch imitating the "Icee" logo, but it didn't work. If a death metal band forms as a result of this book, feel free to use these.

Here's the great final cover; in stores now and so forth...