Happy New Year from the Art Department! We’re starting 2013 off right and releasing a cover we know some folks have been very eager to see: THE SHAMBLING GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY (US | UK) by Mur Lafferty!
I was extremely excited to commission an artist I’ve loved for a while now, a rising star in the comics world, Jamie McKelvie, to do the illustration. I first met Jamie’s work on the comic series Phonogram (if you like music and comics you really need to check it out), and especially loved his take on the original X-Men in the X-Men: Season One graphic novel that came out last year. Really, his Jean Grey might be my favorite. I knew his art would match the cool urban hipness of Mur’s writing. And he really captured the feel of NYC-with-a-supernatural-side portrayed in the book.
After we got the illustrations in-house we had some design help from the talented Nina Tara.
Being a native New Yorker, I really enjoyed the way Mur has created a supernatural side to the city that could be hiding under our noses, and Zoë is a fun character. I look forward to getting to know her better.
Hey everybody! It’s the time of year again when we can release a sneak peak of what we’ve been doing to earn our keep in the Art Department! Here are the finalized covers from Orbit US’s Spring/Summer 2013 so far. We’re still finishing up a few more — including Mur Lafferty’s The Shambling Guide to New York City, Daniel Abraham’s Tyrant’s Law, and Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach – so look for those in the weeks to come. In the month’s ahead we’ll also have detailed posts about the design process behind many of these covers, with interviews with the artists, details about the photo shoots, videos, and more.
We’ve uploaded these new covers to our US Pinterest page , so dive in there to admire the full size images. And keep an eye out for more fun stuff on the Pinterest page in the months to come!
We’re very excited to release Orbit UK’s January-June 2013 covers! We’re still finalising a few, but we’ll include them as they come in. We’ll be posting more about our 2013 covers in the months ahead, including behind the scenes photo shoots, interviews and inspiration for the covers.
Hey Ladies and Gentlemen, fans of all things Steampunk and Vampiric and Victoriana: for your device’s pleasure we have made you some fantastic God Save The Queen wallpapers! Please plaster across all your screens and enjoy at your leisure. We have also started making facebook timeline headers for your social media adornment!
For more info on the making of the cover, please stay tuned for a behind the scenes video of the photoshoot coming soon!
You’d think I’d be happy (and quite busy enough) worrying over the Orbit bookcovers, but I’m one of those designers that wants to try her hand at everything. Websites, branding, invites, and now, apps! I love working with Orbit because I really do get a chance to be there for the beginning of a project and say “hey, I can totally design an author app” and they believe me! Of course, then I need to go back to my desk and figure out how to actually do it, but that’s the fun part. And let me tell you, I had a hell of a lot of fun with this one.
It certainly wasn’t cool enough to have an author app that was just about books and excerpts (which, of course, are awesome, and included), we wanted to make a cool functional app that the fans of The Parasol Protectorate series (and any steampunk fans, really) would love and use everyday. So after brainstorming a lot of ideas, we came up with the idea of doing a super intricate interactive clock app that has the functionality of the standard apple clock, but is way way cooler. A Steampunk clock app.
As you can see in the screenshots below, we’ve got 3 clock skins: A Mechanical Clock with cool brass cogs and gears (and rotating cephalopods), a Steam-Powered Clock run by octopus power, and (my personal fave) a Tea Time Clock with drag-able teabags and spoons that develop your custom cup of tea, while letting you set a Tea Timer!
Here in the Art Department, we work over a year in advance on our book covers, so it’s a thrill to finally be able to go back and share these process posts with you. Today we have a special treat, because last year when the fabulous illustrator Sam Weber was working on the Eli Monpress series for us, he invited us into his studio in Brooklyn to take a peek at THE SPIRIT WAR in progress.
I have really enjoyed working with Sam on this series because not only does he paint such gorgeous covers for us, he’s also a gigantic geek and loves to read the books as well. It really makes a difference in a cover when your artist really gets into the story and characters…especially in the case of Eli, master thief and scoundrel extraordinaire.
In the video below, Sam walks us through his process from thumbnails to final art. Even seeing him work up close, I still can’t believe he gets the amazing textures and luminosity he creates out of the watercolors. Let me tell you, if you are not an artist or have never tried painting in any medium, never mind watercolors, you have no idea how unforgiving a medium it can be.
I know the sketches and stages he shows go by pretty quickly in the video, so I’ll post a bunch of the cover stages so you can see what he’s describing up close. Enjoy! And look forward to part two, when we move past the process of physically creating the cover, and reveal how big of a geek Mr. Weber really is.
So, yesterday I got about a bajillion tweets and emails after the cover leak saying in general, “WTF NO ABERCROMBIE?!” Nothing I like more than enthusiastic fans. I’m sorry, we just weren’t ready in time for the cover leak. But what a difference a day makes! So here, feast your ravenous curiosity on the cover for RED COUNTRY. I know there’s been heated speculation over the cast of characters to be expected, and I have to admit, I think our cover lets a very serious cat out of the bag. Whew, glad to release that, the security around this has been intense.
Here’s a bit of teaser to get you guys even more excited:
Shy South comes home to her farm to find a blackened shell, her brother and sister stolen, and knows she’ll have to go back to her bad old ways if she’s ever to see them again. She sets off in pursuit with only her cowardly old stepfather Lamb for company. But it turns out he’s hiding a bloody past of his own. None bloodier.
Their journey will take them across the lawless plains, to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feuds, duels, and massacres, high into unmapped mountains to a reckoning with ancient enemies, and force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, a man no one should ever have to trust . . . .
Red Country is out in hardcover November 2012!
And here’s all the covers together, click to see them biggified:
I’m super excited to be able to continue our new US cover style from the trade paperbacks of The Heroes and Best Served Cold into the hardcover of Red Country. These have been the most epic photo shoots I’ve ever participated in, and Michael Frost and Gene Mollica have done an excellent job casting, styling, and producing fantastic images. The model for this shoot was particularly into the shoot, having been Pierce Brosnan’s Bond stunt double! Extra credit.
We were so focused on getting the cover exactly right (moar blood! moar dirt! big pointy sword!) that I couldn’t do a video of the shoot, but I do have some fun behind-the-scenes pictures I can share…some days, my job is unbelievably awesome, I can’t deny.
Breakfast (and Weaponry) of Champions
Tricks of the Epic Fantasy Trade
Live Capture as we're shooting helps me envision covers
So we’re still in development on a lot of new covers for the Fall 2012/Winter 2013 Season, but many covers are done (or very very close to final) so we wanted to share those with you. There are some amazing titles here, which I can vouch for, since you know I read as much as I can while I’m working. As usual, we’ll be launching these one by one with some fabulous behind-the-scenes videos, covers in development, etc. So stay tuned! And keep checking in for the covers that are so deep in development that we can’t even show you yet…
I’ll be releasing the full credits in the individual cover launches, but I know some of you are going to be reposting, so here are the quick credits: Spirit’s End illustration by Sam Weber, design by Lauren Panepinto. American Elsewhere design by Kirk Benshoff, Folly of the World design by Lauren Panepinto, The Queen is Dead photo by House of Indulgence, Illustration by Don Sipley, design by Lauren Panepinto. The Red Knight illustration by Epica Prima, design by Lauren Panepinto. Seven Kings illustration by Richard Anderson, design by Lauren Panepinto. Out for Blood illustration by Nekro, design by Lauren Panepinto. Wolfhound Century design by Lauren Panepinto. 3 x Michael Cobley illustrations by Steve Stone, design by Kirk Benshoff. Godspeaker photo by Shirley Green, design by Kirk Benshoff. Jill Kismet photo by Michael Frost, Illustration by Gene Mollica, design by Lauren Panepinto. The Soddit illustration by Douglas Carrel, design by Lauren Panepinto. Emperor Mollusk illustration/design by Will Staehle. Cold Fire illustration by Larry Rostant, design by Peter Cotton. Sapkowski x 3 illustrations by CD Projekt Red & Massive Black, design by Lauren Panepinto. Rebellion design by Lauren Panepinto.
So things have been a little hectic wrapping up the Fall 2012/Winter 2013 season here in the Orbit Art Department, but expect to see a lot more action from us in the coming weeks. To start off with a bang is wallpapers for one of my favorite covers, and one of my favorite Orbit series, THE LEGEND OF ELI MONPRESS by Rachel Aaron. Actually this book is a trade paperback omnibus collecting the first three books in the series (Spirit Thief, Spirit Rebellion, and Spirit Eater) and to celebrate, we had the amazing artist Sam Weber take a crack at personifying Eli, the most famous thief in the world. If you want to see more behind the scenes on the cover, read this post.
And if you haven’t met Eli yet, then you’re missing out — the best comparison I an give is The Princess Bride by way of The Lies of Locke Lamora. And I don’t invoke Dread Pirate Roberts lightly, mind you. Honestly, when you have the artist calling wanting the next manuscript early for the next book, that’s a winner.
Stay tuned, because we’ll be launching more books in the series — with a video visit to Sam’s studio.
Here’s all the wallpaper download links…if anyone needs a specific dimension made, let us know!
As part of our 7-day celebration of the epic fantasy Seven Princes (UK | US | ANZ) by John R. Fultz we’re giving away wallpapers of the awesome cover artwork to spruce up all your fancy devices. And I know we’ve had some gorgeous wallpapers, but I think the illustration for these is so much sexier BIG that trust me, you’re going to want it on every screen you have. The art is by the fantastic Richard Anderson and he really just knocked it out of the park. It’s like epic fantasy impressionistic, such a fresh style. (You can read an interview with him and John R. Fultz over at Black Gate.) Enjoy!