The author who did the trio of earlier historical books also had me work on a murder-mystery novel. Although the book is contemporary, the client had encouraged me to use retro clip art, which wasn’t working out so well. So my next inclination was to play around with a noir-ish concept using found art from old comics sections from 1940s newspapers I have. My idea played on an explosion that happens in the book, keeping the action a bit melodramatic but engaging. At the same time the client also had me work on an idea with a fireplace poker and copious amounts of gore, the other murder in the book. I’m torn on executing ideas like this. I know that aspect of our ultra-violent society flocks to savage imagery like hungry dogs to their Alpo, but it’s also pandering to something that doesn’t need anymore feeding. So the question always refers to the bottom line, what’s going to sell? And the answer is almost always blood and guts. I don’t think that’s ever going to change.


Somewhat different approach for this novella from Fingers Murphy, for whom who’s covers are often gruesome violent things. He requested something more quiet to go along with the story which concerns a murders suspect and a long confession. And though I was able to find a nice image in that stack of old 60s detective magazines I have, I developed this thing for the simple yellow circle in type option, which I only now understand weeks after making this must have been some kind of subconscious reference to the light from a hot interrogation lamp you see in one of those old Noir movies where someone is getting the third degree in the Precinct basement.


Recent trio of historical eBooks I did for a client on a low budget. My proposal was to create a series template that was refined and sophisticated and would allow me to simply plug in image and color variations. Library of Congress images were free, and Fotolia stock (one of the cheapest around) was extremely affordable. I kept the work at this point to a minimum by adding color to give them more depth, and the two figures required some silhouetting.


I have to admit, when I got an email from Susie Bright to work on this cover, it was one of those times I had to be sure it was who I thought it was. And it was. I’d just seen Annie Sprinkle give a talk at CMU and was thinking I’d sure like to work on one of her books, and I got the next best thing. This was a compilation of material from a column Susie and her daughter wrote for online magazine Jezebel and the trick was to have a sense of levity and playfulness without getting overly graphic. At the same time Susie’s about as progressive as you could get with imagery, so for one of the comps I thought I’d throw in some more graphic imagery while still keeping things on the cute level. I thought the bees doing birds idea was pretty clever but in the end Susie went for the Sex-Guide-From-The-Back-Of-An-Old-Girlie-Magazine treatment. She was great to work with, a real pleasure.


A memoir which required some specific use of Masonic symbolism. The author had provided the photograph which I had to modify for some necessary contrast. Thought the client chose the one with the script, I actually preferred the more abstract version with the large icon which rests on a photograph I took of the back of an old print, which for some reason seemed to add just enough texture for the menacing territory of this story.


More stuff from the old website, all Avalon. I lumped the John Waters screenplays from Four Walls Eight Windows, being they were bought up by Avalon years ago; Avalon of course being bought up and dissolved years ago as well.


A few months back when I moved my main portfolio over to my new PDA-friendly website (more conservative in other words), I photographed a some of the work and forgot about the rest. These are the Sasquatch Book titles, all non-fiction. It’s always been interesting to me how many people react to the Breaking Blue photo. There’s something about a gun pointed at your face that incites a powerful response.


This is the latest for Fingers Murphy. I love a client who comes to the table with some solid ideas, and Murphy’s are usually incredibly violent and visual. His original suggestion here was to have the coyote dragging the leg, but the composition seemed stronger if the critter were at the forefront. Models were tricky for this piece, the leg was some rubber thing from a Halloween horror house supply website andthe bashed-in head dude was lifted directly from a real photo of some dude with a bashed-in head off one of those internet gore sites, which became something of a downer after staring at it for a few hours.

This is the latest for Fingers Murphy. I love a client who comes to the
table with some solid ideas, and Murphy’s are usually incredibly violent
and visual. His original suggestion here was to have the coyote dragging
the leg, but the composition seemed stronger if the critter were at the
forefront. Models were tricky for this piece, the leg was some rubber
thing from a Halloween horror house supply website andthe bashed-in
head dude was lifted directly from a real photo of some dude with a
bashed-in head off one of those internet gore sites, which became
something of a downer after staring at it for a few hours.


I don’t even like baseball, but that doesn’t mean I won’t say yes to a book about it, I’ll figure out a way to look like I do. In any case, the project got shelved not long after the comps.


Final, printed version of this book. I showed some earlier, more elaborate comps for this title earlier on this blog, though I have to admit, when I saw this on the shelf, I wasn’t disappointed at all.

Final, printed version of this book. I showed some earlier, more
elaborate comps for this title earlier on this blog, though I have
to admit, when I saw this on the shelf, I wasn’t disappointed at all.


While swimming laps today and thinking about the ten thousand things that usually go through my mind whilst doing so, I remembered this book for Wave I did back in 2008 that I totally forgot about. I mentioned somewhere on this blog that Wave comps tended to get into the double digits, so here due to Tumblr limitations I’ve selected nine of the best.


Pair of eBook titles done recently for self-published East-Coast author Benson Grayson.


I stumbled on this early version of the Sad Bastard cover one of the many poorly-labeled archival discs in my possession. Occasionally I’m reminded about how much work forgotten I’ve done and sometimes have no record of. For that which was garbage I am grateful for this.

I stumbled on this early version of the Sad Bastard cover one of the
many poorly-labeled archival discs in my possession. Occasionally
I’m reminded about how much work forgotten I’ve done and sometimes
have no record of. For that which was garbage I am grateful for this.


I think this might go back to 1998 or earlier, and I recall I’d been doing a heavy cold-call campaign to independent publishers in one of my many attempts to conjure up more work. Ruminator Books was a nice lefty publishing house out of Chicago that put out some relevant titles on human rights and global issues, this title being a memoir of life as a political inmate in a Latin American prison. The Amazon link has more information, and oddly the cover they have is different, so I must have changed it at some point.

I think this might go back to 1998 or earlier, and I recall I’d been
doing a heavy cold-call campaign to independent publishers in one
of my many attempts to conjure up more work. Ruminator Books
was a nice lefty publishing house out of Chicago that put out some
relevant titles on human rights and global issues, this title being
a memoir of life as a political inmate in a Latin American prison.
The Amazon link has more information, and oddly the cover they
have is different, so I must have changed it at some point.


Never, again (Harper's Magazine)


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