Sunday, October 13, 2013

Anchorage Press cover: Wikipedia

Here's another fun little cover job for the Anchorage Press: I was tasked with caricaturing some infamous Alaskan/Anchorage personalities and tying in the topic of Wikipedia.

Grabs from the on-line edition, the website and Facebook.

Given the draft version of the article to work from, I selected Bill Allen of VECO, Miss Teen Alaska and Mr. Whitekeys. Some initial concepts included the cast of characters rendered as Mount Rushmore but on a glacier or on Denali, as snowmen, participating in a frontier card game, and on a totem pole with a crew of busy beavers editing away. Most of these ideas involved a horizontal composition, which is a challenge to wrangle into the format of a newspaper cover.


Printed out the draft of the article and over lunch doodled a few ideas on the back page: these caricature roughs were then scanned in to rearrange in a couple trial compositions to bounce off the editor for feedback:


Trivia: I was asked to drop Miss Alaska and draw The Quitter instead, as she was going to be included in the final article. I confess to only changing two things: adding those glasses and taking off the sash. Ta-Daaa. Another edit was taking off the original wording on Bill Allen's button that said "Corrupt Bastard" and substituting instead the logo for VECO - prudent for a cover. And since nobody knows what Allen actually looks like, or on the equal chance my caricature didn't work either, a little tag sometimes helps connect the dots for the viewer.

Spots: digital

A couple quick, last-minute spot-illustrations rounded out the commission: for our readers keeping score at home there is an inspirational lining to the whole canine editor concept that comes from a classic panel - New Yorker cartoonist Peter Steiner's "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."

Line art

In the end this turned out to be a really fun exercise and also inadvertently reconfirmed that quite often it's challenging assignments that initially don't seem to be easy that will ultimately turn out to be a satisfying, as they will push you to reach new creative solutions. See here for some previous samples of covers or peruse the Commercial folio for more.

Finished full color

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