Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dead Neon

It's always refreshing to get a title that breaks the mold of the typical genre of books I get. Dead Neon is a subject matter I rarely work on, science fiction writing. I was hooked with the first story and read the entire manuscript before sketching. The first concept that came to mind was a gas mask since many of the stories have an apocalyptic bent. The idea was to create the image out of Las Vegas icons. So I set out about the tedious task using poker chips, dice, playing cards and of course, the iconic Las Vegas sign.

Once I had this comp done I hit a wall. I had no idea where to go next since this one felt so spot on, but of course, 3 comps is what you have to submit so I wracked my brain searching for more concepts. Las Vegas burning, Las Vegas sinking, Las Vegas desolate and deserted...check:

I used a mix of vintage imagery, clip art and stock photos to create the collages used on these two comps. I had a fun time working up these pieces of art for the comps. Kind of an industrial/human merging perspective of the future:

The final design is shown below. Glad to see my first idea was my best. Thanks to Kathleen Szawiola, my art director at University of Nevada Press, who delivered my fastest approval ever in a mere 8 hours (including author approval).


Stuart Bache said...

I'm so happy that they decided to go for that brilliant cover – the detail of the dice and chips is amazing and adds a whole new dimension.


Ian Shimkoviak said...

I love this cover so so so so so so very very very much. The outtakes are fun—a bit Kulick-like—but that final one; I understand why you hit a conceptual wall after that—it's fucking perfect! And I also LOVE the fact that you basically created the art from scratch so-to-speak. So it's through and through original. Super work Kimberly. This one better win a few awards here there and everywhere.

So did you have a photograph of a gas mask that you worked off of for proportion and to achieve the very believable shape of the mask?

Pj Perez said...

Love process pieces. Thanks for sharing.