Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Shades of the Futures Past: Border Worlds #8 Unused Cover Art!

Here is a detail of the original art for Border Worlds #8, which was announced and appeared in a house ad in Border Worlds #7 (August 1987). However, because of sales that continued to slip in the wake of the black-and-white comics boom-and-bust (paradoxically fueled by Rolling Stone's recent coverage of Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns that set off a speculative feeding frenzy for titles like the Miller-inspired Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- I told you, paradox!), I made the painful decision to put my sci-fi saga on hiatus to focus on freelance work like Wasteland to pay my bills.

Jenny Woodlore and Drasin Revell in an intimate moment (detail).

When the issue finally appeared as Border Worlds: Marooned #1 (1990), the scene depicted was still a part of the story, but I decided to go with a more dramatic cover. The original cover was drawn on Duo-Shade, a classic medium memorably used in EC Comics and still available in the 1980s, but now another historical oddity. I'm glad I got the chance to use it on #7 and portions of Marooned!

The entire cover shows a more organic logo than the one I created when Border Worlds was a back-up feature in Megaton Man. Somehow the figure of Drake looked more dead than about to have a romantic moment with the series' heroine, Jenny.
The collected complete Border Worlds, forthcoming from Dover Publications in 2017, will include rarities like this and other unpublished art, plus reflections by me (the author) and an essay by comics legend Stephen R. Bissette! Stay tuned for more details soon...

The greyline, hand-painted with Cel-Vinyl paints, didn't do much to enliven the mood of the scene, and no doubt reflected my own mood as I watched my labor of love succumb to the tumultuous comics market.
My second stab at the cover was much more dramatic and pleasing (and the romantic scene between Drake and Jenny much more dynamic, earning the book and upgrade from "Mature Readers" to the more properly Underground "Adults Only").

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