Posts Tagged ‘Art Department’

Cover Launch: ARTEMIS by Philip Palmer

Philip Palmer’s Red Claw was one of the first covers I designed when I joined the Orbit team, and it’s still one of my faves. I love working on these covers, they’re so much fun, because his writing has this fabulous pulp scifi feel to it, and you can get that feel with the photo shoots. That’s one of the fun things about establishing a really strong author look, it anchors a book, and let’s you get crazy within that framework. It’s kind of like a mullet—business up front, party in the back! (Yes, I really just compared Book Cover Design to Mullets, call the graphic design police, it’s been a rough week.)

Photographer Laura Hanifin was my partner-in-crime for this cover, which we shot at the same time we shot for Hell Ship and the new e-book cover for Debatable Space. It was an exhausting (and smelly!) shoot, but we got three fantastic cover images out of the day, and you don’t get 3-cover-days very often, trust me!

After the jump, see the whole series of covers together, as well as a teaser!


Cover Launch: THE BUSINESS OF DEATH by Trent Jamieson

People often ask me, how do I find artists for books. And there’s never one good answer…I try to stay on top of established scifi and fantasy artists through places like Spectrum and assorted illustration annuals. I also like to keep an eye on people working more in the fine-art and urban art realm thru mags like Juxtapoz and Hi Fructose. I have a long history in comics (yes I was a Comic Shop Girl) and I pull artists across the divide between comics and books. Agents send me updated work from artists constantly. And facebook, believe it or not, has been a great tool for me to find emerging artists.

The real problem isn’t finding good artists, it’s wishing I had enough good projects for all the fabulous artists I know of! And I love getting people who haven’t worked on a lot of book covers to work on a cover for me, I think it keeps the art really fresh. So I am always walking around with a “dream team” list in the back of my head. And David Seidman was on that list for a while…until I heard that we were going to do an omnibus edition of Trent Jamieson’s Deathworks Series, and I knew he would be perfect for it. I’m not sure where I first saw David’s work. It was either on facebook or it was his Coheed and Cambria picture disk. Either way I just had a gut feeling he would have a fabulous take on these books, which is kind of a little Constantine by way of The Office. Or Office Space, actually. We really wanted to capture the bored sick-of-this-damn-cubicle attitude, while showing a bit of the supernatural. If you want to get a good intro you can read the opener here.

As you’ve been reading over the last few cover posts, I love doing omnibus editions. I like them as a fan, there’s nothing better than getting a big honking bible-sized edition of a series, and as an art director, I love getting a chance to reinvent a character. This redesign started with shooting the right photo reference with Shirley Green. (Often an artist shoots his own reference photo, but the editors and I had such a strong sense of what we wanted that I art directed the shoot then sent the images we picked to David). We had a heck of a time finding the right model. We knew we wanted someone out of the vein of beefcake, someone cool, who could look so very fed up and a bit pissed. And look good in a suit, of course! But we settled on Jonathan Taylor and he was a great model, and totally a geek too, which makes it all so much more fun. Anyway then we picked poses we liked in-house, then sent the winner to David. He & I went back a bunch talking about tone and color, and he produced this fabulous illustration. So enjoy BIG after the jump, along with some shots of the various stages. And a teaser, of course…


Cover Launch: THE LEGEND OF ELI MONPRESS by Rachel Aaron

One of the best parts of my job is getting to collaborate with fantastic artists on covers. And one of Orbit’s favorites is the stellar Sam Weber. When I heard we were going to collect the first three Spirit Thief books into an omnibus edition I knew I wanted to give Sam a crack at creating his version of the incorrigible rogue & sorcerer Eli Monpress. So here it is, The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron. It’s out in February in satisfying tome-size trade paperback. This edition collects The Spirit Thief, The Spirit Rebellion, and The Spirit Eater, and set’s the scene for the next story, The Spirit’s War, out in June 2012.

And speaking of The Spirit’s War, we know you guys are going to love this cover so much that we already have Sam working on the cover for the new book. And Art Director Kirk & I snuck out of the office for a few hours and went to visit Sam at his studio and see the cover-in-progress! We also took along our trusty cameraman Eric Westpheling to tape a studio tour and chat with Sam about his process. That video will debut with the cover launch of The Spirit’s War in a few months, but for now, here are some images of our visit and a SNEAK PEAK at the next cover!

I don’t remember the first time I saw Sam’s art but here at Orbit we love that he can capture such a strong feeling of fantasy and adventure, yet in a fresh way and in his unique style. Our first project together was The Gaslight Dogs, which was a stunning cover, but I have of course also been jealous of all the lovely work he’s been doing for other clients as well. Especially that drop-dead-gorgeous Ender’s Game ebook. And I have to say I was curious to see exactly what his process was…the transparency & textures he gets in his illustrations just blows my mind. I definitely learned a lot. I guess you’ll just have to wait for the cover launch of The Spirit’s War to hear him explain it himself…

Meanwhile, after the jump you can see a few more still shots of Sam in action, as well as this cover BIG, and a better shot of the art-in-progress…and if you haven’t had the chance to “meet” Eli Monpress yet, do yourself a favor and download the first two chapters as a free pdf here. I know I’m not supposed to have favorites and all, but this series is definitely on my list of manuscripts that I bug the editors about when I know it might be coming in…My early comparisons to The Princess Bride and Locke Lamora are completely on-target with everyone I’ve recommended this book to. Eli is a fantastic antihero, and, guy or girl, you can’t help fall in love with him a bit. (more…)

Cover Launch: THE GRIFFIN MAGE Trilogy by Rachel Neumeier

It’s omnibus week here in the Orbit Art Department, and the fangirl in me loves an omnibus. Get a whole story arc or series all in one giant go? Yes please! Today we have the cover launch for The Griffin Mage Trilogy by Rachel Neumeier, which collects Lord of the Changing Winds, Land of the Burning Sands, and Law of the Broken Earth.

I really enjoyed this series, it gave me a very Robin McKinley/Anne McCaffrey feeling and that’s a very good thing in my book. Classic heroine coming of age story, with a novel take on griffins, bringing them back to more wild animal (and wild magic) roots. I make no secret of my lack of griffin respect in their past fantasy incarnations, but I love that these griffins feel legitimately dangerous rather than cartoonish. That was the angle we took with the original covers, but I always love a chance to reinvent a cover for a new format, and here I think the cover gives the right feeling of menace, while still keeping Kes the center of the story.

After the jump, a teaser! (more…)

Cover Launch: EYE OF THE TEMPEST (Jane True #4) by Nicole Peeler

One thing I love about our Orbit roster is our kickass heroines (often written by real-life kickass ladies)…but they’re not JUST kickass. (Ok, not allowed to say “kickass” for the rest of the post, promise.) Our heroines have unique voices and over the course of a series begin to feel utterly real. Sometimes when I am working on covers I literally hear a voice of a character in my head saying yea or nay. Now, I don’t create the art for Nicole Peeler’s Jane True books in the US, but I know illustrator Sharon Tancredi has got a little Jane inside her egging her on. I was so excited to see Blondie make the cover of Eye of the Tempest, Jane’s fourth adventure, and she looks like a fabulous teammate for Jane. Of course, it is known I have a soft spot for cool tattoos…and to really help our dynamic duo pop, we upped the boldness with a bright shock of red for the title bar. I’m also going to show the back cover, which I rarely do, but you must see the fantastic octopus Sharon created to go with the cover!

After the jump, get to see the US back cover and the requisite teaser text…..and if you haven’t met Jane True yet, you really must pick up the rest of the series…here’s a fabulous review from B&N to whet your appetite…True Love: Nicole Peeler’s Selkie-Halfling Heroine Jane True is Paranormal Fantasy’s “It Girl”


Wallpapers: CHASING THE MOON by A. Lee Martinez

Here’s another great wallpaper for all your fancy devices, this time for A. Lee Martinez’s CHASING THE MOON, out now in Hardcover.

Will Staehle has been doing fantastic covers for the A. Lee Martinez books. They’re not a series, and the designs all strongly stand alone, but Will’s quirky sensibility sets a tone across all the books that really works for Martinez’s voice. If you haven’t read any yet, you can jump in anywhere…but I think Divine Misfortune is my personal fave. (And it’s a great cover.)

Here’s all the wallpaper download links…if anyone needs a specific dimension made, let me know!

1024 x 768 | 1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 1920 x 1200iPhone | iPad

Cover Launch: Kristen Painter’s HOUSE OF COMARRÉ

I am so excited to finally be launching the first three books of Kristen Painter’s House of Comarré series. You saw Blood Rights back in April, and I gave you a sneak peak of the covers for Flesh and Blood and Bad Blood, but we’ve been fine-tuning them for a while, and here they finally are, in all their gothic glory!

As you may know from old posts, I love tattoos, have quite a few, and have a soft spot for tattoos that are creatively worked into fantasy stories (props to Jacqueline Carey and the Kushiel books, of course), and I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say the gold ornament on our cover heroine is not just a pretty design…Kristen Painter  has really created a very inventive world with the kind of interesting visual details that get a designer like me very happy. I hope that shows in the covers!

Nekro, the illustrator of these gorgeous covers, has really outdone himself here. These covers are amazing and I can’t wait to hear what you guys think…after the jump, you can see them full-size and get some teasers for the House of Comarré series…


New (Eyebending) Wallpaper for Simon Morden’s Trilogy

I know it’s been a little while since we’ve done a fun wallpaper in the house (It was a great wallpaper too – Leviathan Wakes, if you didn’t download it you totally should!). So, I have written before about how much I love how the covers for the Simon Morden books came out, and have taken the opportunity to do a poster, a video, and now…wallpapers! Just in time for the third book to hit shelves. So make sure you go pick up Equations of Life, Theories of Flight, and Degrees of Freedom

Available for screens of all sizes, now you can carry a mind-warping piece of the Metrozone with you everywhere! I even finally figured out how to make the ipad version work with the vertical/horizontal twist. As usual, if I missed a specific screen size you’d like, leave a comment and I’ll format it for you!

1024 x 768 | 1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 1920 x 1200iPhone | iPadNetbook (1024×600)

Cover Launch: THE RIYRIA REVELATIONS by Michael J. Sullivan

Bam! Can you say “EPIC”, people? The Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan are coming this November, December, and January, with more adventure and world-building than you epic fantasy fans will be able to handle. We wanted to give this series a cover style that spoke to fans of empire-building and political intrigue and armies clashing, but I really wanted to highlight the central axis of the books — the team of Royce and Hadrian, a thief and mercenary who get pulled into the plots and machinations of the empire despite their best (or worst) intentions. I think the marriage of the type and icons with the great illustrations by Larry Rostant give you the feel that it’s these two friends back to back against the world, and that is the engine that takes you through these books and across the world of Riyria.

After the jump, a small teaser from Book One: Theft of Swords to get you all excited…..