FABLES TPB 9 - SONS OF EMPIRE
January 21, 2007

> Fables TPB 9 sketch, graphite on bond, 8.5 x 11". Sold.

It's hard to believe that I've done 9 wraparound trade paper back covers for Fables. The idea of a wraparound cover was something I initially proposed to Vertigo, partly to increase the cover rate as a poor fledgling artist, but also to maximise the canvas to accommodate the large cast of characters and multiple storylines. I am always thinking about scale in these covers, not only in terms of figures and composition, but also in terms of ideas as I try to elicit drama from the image. In this case, the most important moment in the image is the smallest, where you can see Pinocchio playing with the fighter jet and the tank. (I supposed you can call this a motif, since I've used the idea of Pinocchio playing with toys to foreshadow dangerous events before here.)


> Fables TPB 9 painting, acrylic and blue pencil on Rives BFK, 22 x 29". NFS

A global war between the Adversary and humanity is planned and discussed in this story arc, and hypothetical images of apocolyptical destruction abound. Meanwhile, it's Christmas in Fabletown, so of course we have to have WMD's and skulls for ornaments.

For some inspiration on texture of decaying and burning flesh, I turned to an amazing book called Inferno, by the photographer James Nachtwey. It's jarring to see so much human suffering framed in gracefully composed pictures.


> Fables TPB 9 finish, photoshop CS2, 10.5 x 14.25", 600 dpi.

I adjusted the color in photoshop, further defined the ornaments, and dropped in some type. This time around, I left plenty of room for type on the back cover. Perhaps it's not emphasized well enough, but the sky plays an important role in the storyline, and we can see the Gnome King peering off into the clouds, waiting for the attack from above.