The Museum Of UnCut Funk is a big fan of comic book artist Jim Rugg. I introduced myself to Jim several years ago when he published his Afrodisiac graphic novel. When I found out about his latest endeavor, The Walking Dead Ghost Variant, I purchased a copy for the Museum collection and contacted Jim to ask him if I could include it in our Aesthetic Grooves blog. The article below was reprinted with the consent of Jim Rugg.
A couple of months ago, I was approached with the idea of creating a 70s style, Walking Dead variant cover featuring that lovable badass, Michonne. I assume it was in response to Afrodisiac, the 70s style graphic novel that Brian Maruca and I created a couple years ago.
With the 1970s in mind, I created some sketches:
I think that second one looks a bit Jamie Hewlett-like. After some back and forth, we decided to go with the third idea – limited color, like old exploitation posters. So I created another round of sketches:
The one on the left is the one everyone chose – but, I couldn’t use the Walking Dead TV logo. Not a problem. I love lettering, especially old title lettering. Next step – draw some final artwork. And because I struggle with confidence, I decided to work up a few variations. Here are the drawings I created for the cover.
(this is the actual original, 19 x 24 inches, ink on bristol)
(this was an unused variation, 13 x 17 inches, ink on bristol)
(this was an unused variation, 19 x 24 inches, ink on bristol)
Next step was assembling the parts and coloring in Photoshop. The final result is at the top of this post. It is based on a 3-color silkscreen concept. I considered silkscreening the image and then scanning the resulting print.
Below is the alternative, alternative cover. I submitted both, due to the high-profile nature of this job, personal relationship to those who hired me, and my own interest in the subject (this was a very enjoyable assignment), I wanted to make sure everyone was happy with the final result. I think they picked the right one.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the Ghost Variant!
For more information on one of the hippest dudes in the comic book and graphic novel industry check out Jim Rugg’s web site.