Maybe arriving at the final cover art will prove to be a lot like watching sausages being made (and if that doesn’t put you off eating sausages, nothing will), but I’m going to run down the broad strokes of turning a licensed image into a finished cover. We started with the image of a samurai duel above(“By the Sword”–Artist: Glenn Porter). Also note that when I said “we” up there I mostly mean my editor/publisher Sean Wallace and Prime’s art director, Sherin Nicole. I was in the loop, but mostly as cheerleader.
Here’s an early pass. Quite a bit different, huh? Sherin narrowed the focus and did quite a bit of image overlay to set the scene. You’ll also note that the guy on the right is wearing a demon mask, to illustrate Yamada in battle with an oni. I thought the onibi (demon/ghost lights–the glowing orbs) were a nice touch.
A little more work/tweaking with the lighting and pose. We had to lose the demon mask, pity, but it was getting a little lost in the details anyway. We have to settle for atmosphere to convey the sense of what’s going on.
A little more tweaking, including a correction on the rightmost figure’s pose, in one of the revisions to the original it looked like part of his leg was missing. Then the first layout, to get a sense of the typography and what was working. You’ll note the dummy quote at the top, the real version of which we didn’t really have, so that had to go.
And now the full layout, with spine and back cover, all ready to go. There should be ARCs, and I want one, but all things in the proper time. There’s also a link now to the book’s information page on the Prime Books web site. Check it out. Yamada Monogatari: Demon Hunter