In the category of you can’t handle the truth comes this behind-the-scenes report. It’s a survivor’s journey, a tale of loss and resurrection in the life of a comic book series.
This is the cover of Echo 30.
Almost immediately after I finished making this book, the final issue of Echo, my computer hard drive died and took the Photoshop cover file with it. Please, no backup comments—you had to be there. I remember sirens and screaming, the sun in my eyes and dogs eating my cables, and before I could reach the keyboard a bolt of lightning shot out of my nose and the screen went gray. I’m not saying that’s what happened, I’m just saying that’s how I remember it.
Anyway, that cover was made from this panel in issue 28:
Yes, I cheated. Who wants to draw a Large Hadron Collider more than once?
Anyway, to accomplish this, I removed the lettering (it was hand lettered on removable labels) rescanned the page, cropped down to the middle panel and turned it -90 degrees to get as much vertical as possible. Then I did my Photoshop color thing on it and BAM! I had my cover of the Large Hadron Collider without having to redraw the LHC. Yay me. I turned the book in and CRASH!
Act Two, sad aftermath: In the months and years after, I moved on and used other Echo images when I needed something, but our foreign language publishers always want the generic version of every cover in a series, so they can add the graphics in their own language, of course. As you can see, the Echo 30 cover situation was always a problem.
Act Three, enter the hero: Recently my Italian publisher BAO took matters into their own hands and carefully remade the cover themselves using the same process. They sent me this pic of their in-house graphics wizard at work on the art, extending the artwork to fill the new ratio.
And here’s a peek at the nearly finished result. Nice! And now I’ll have a generic for the future, thanks to the talented folks at BAO.
Epilogue: I’m so happy. And I’m backing all this up, tomorrow.