Ex-Patriots, by Peter Clines, illustration, Jonathan Bartlett
Back with more zombies! More apocalypse! More heroes! Peter Clines’s, Ex-Patriots. With book two my insecurities gave way to confidence and excitement for the subject matter and it’s challenges. As you can see, the general design of the series is to put the spot light on one main character per cover. With Ex-Patriots we have Cerberus.
Probably my favorite part, love this guy just getting totally decimated under Cerberus’s hammer of a foot.
I Wanted to share some of the brainstorming process this time around. These images are heavily reliant on accurate character design so I find myself doing some general studies to work out the build of each hero. I understand that’s totally common practice, but I never had the need for it before. Pro tip: Zombie battle reference? Photos of MMA fighters! SUPER helpful. Also, as I worked, I couldn’t help but think back on a vivid memory from my art education. When I was still an undergrad student an University of The Arts I made an illustration that featured battling robots. My teacher slayed me with his critique of the image. I’ll never forget the chastising, but also his words, “If you are going to make something up, it still has to feel like it could actually work! How would that arm bend? How does that head connect to that body?!”. That’s a little vague without visual context, but the point is, when drawing from make believe, in this case a fictional machine, to make people believe it’s power and authenticity, they need to believe it could actually exist. That’s not to say you have to draw up blue prints, but, you know, do enough to fool the eye. This rang through my head the whole time I was working on the cover.
The series is progressing quickly, stay tuned for book three in the coming months!