Thursday, 25 April 2013

Railsea roughs

Today the young adult paperback edition of China MiƩville's Railsea found it's way onto UK bookshelves all swathed in my cover design. Above are four roughs I produced when first asked to submit ideas for the cover (please click the image for a less teenieweenie version).

The brief asked for an image of a train with a boy hanging onto the front brandishing a harpoon. The giant mole, and the vast network of rail lines from the novel were optional. Once the possibility of including a giant mole has been raised however it's pretty difficult to prevent yourself crowbarring the critter in somehow.

The main task was to convey the dynamic adventure of the book. My Art Director suggested I look at some vintage rail posters such as the wonderful samples below, for their use of extreme foreshortening in conveying this sense of dynamism. As you can see from the roughs I stuck pretty close to their angles for my trains.

Two of these roughs were selected for development, but more on that in the next post. Railsea is available now from your local bookstore, or online naturally at the usual places. You can still read the first two chapters online here.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Railsea - young adult cover

Back in July last year I was lucky enough to be asked to provide the cover art for the 'Young Adult' paperback version of China MiƩville's brilliant novel Railsea. I always find it difficult to refuse the chance to draw fantastical locamotives, giant albino moles, and general high adventure.... so I didn't. Finally the results are about to be unleashed on the unsuspecting British public. Above is the cover that will be shunting it's way onto UK bookshelves when it's published on 25th April. The usual (very cool looking) 'old' adult paperback edition is published on the same date.

Below is the final artwork I delivered (click the image for a larger version... if you dare).

As it's usually unwise to judge a book by it's cover alone, the nice people at Tor/Pan Macmillan have allowed you to read the first two chapters here.

I'll be posting more Railsea related stuff here soon in an attempt to work out how we arrived at this final image.