I've been very fortunate lately with a number of interesting topics for cover stories. Above the obvious thrill of seeing your work on the front page, I enjoy the challenge of distilling complex manuscripts down to singular/iconic images. Over the years I've developed some great ongoing relationships/collaborations with AD's that has led to a semi-regular series of these opportunities. Below are a few recent bits of pulp.
I have a longstanding relationship with with Tom Carlson, AD at the Riverfront Times. If fact, his editor was my editor when I was an AD long ago. Below are 2 covers that ran in consecutive issues for a 2-part story about a young child who was living with a life threatening illness and a custody battle between his feuding parents. The father eventually wins custody of the child. Shortly after the boy goes missing (presumed dead) and his father is the prime suspect.
Part 1 about the battle for the boy.
Part 2 about the disappearance
Darrick Rainey at the LA Weekly always finds a lovely chunk of noir for me to feed on. A few months back the paper broke the story about a serial killer who had been preying on women of the evening since 1987. The police had never released any information to the public until the LA Weekly broke the news. Since then, a resentful LA mainstream press has been forced to identify the killer by the name given by the Weeky's editors, "The Grim Sleeper". They came upon this name because the killer would take very long pauses, often years, between his multiple killings. The cover is attached below (from previous post) along with the recent cover interviewing the lone survivor of the Grim Sleeper. In her account of the event she is shot point-blank in the chest but flees on foot down the road, leaving a blood trail. The added challenge with this second image is that it had to relate in some way back to the original cover.
2nd cover, "Lone Survivor Of The Grim Sleeper".
I've worked with Pam and Michael Shavalier (that's right, the husband and wife AD double threat) for more that 5 years now, collaborating on over 20 covers for 6 different papers. Recently Michael called me with the cryptic question, "Aides babies as guinea pigs for the cover of the Voice, interested?" How do you say no to that? The result is a complicated image about a story that reveals that loving caregivers are capable of unethical practices out of desperation in the midst of an unstoppable epidemic.
Through DJ Stout at Pentagram, I started working with Erin Mayes and Denison University Magazine. The attached piece was for a story about the world needing to wake-up to the reality that Africa is becoming a superpower, proud and powerful. These Denison gigs, if one finds it's way to your studio, are always challenging and rewarding. The editors are very open to making a bold statement.
And lastly, but certainly not the least are a couple covers from Businessweek CD, Andrew Horton. These are great because they're always collaborative and very tight on timing. The most recent cover is out today entitled, "Signs of Life", about new growth in the devastated housing market. Andrew said, think sprouting seeds, etc. The other is from a couple of weeks ago about toxic loans and foreclosures. Apparently I'm Businessweek's go to guy for house-related imagery. Stauffer in da house!
Thanks again to all mentioned above!