Far West: Cover Preview

Just a quick post to show the work-in-progress cover for Far West:

As one of the Aspects of a character in the playtest says: Behold The HAWTNESS.

18 Replies to “Far West: Cover Preview”

  1. The arm holding the pistol is way too low and the guy looks a wee bit too much like Jet Li. Otherwise, great stuff. I like that you can’t see the face of the gunman. Although I wonder what’s that stick doing next to his leg.

  2. I think the cover has a lot to offer, but some fans are going to recognize the images

    Just an opinion: The logo is fantastic, as is the sepia tone, and the silhouettes in the background, but I suggest that your target audience is going to be savvy to the fact that the center foreground image is Jet Li in a publicity shot from Hero, with Clint Eastwood’s gun-arm from the poster for The Outlaw Josey Wales. I just can’t imagine Miramax (now owned by Disney) not protecting their copyright on this one. Warner Brothers, maybe not so much.

    I’m not trying to show how clever I am because I’m really not that sharp, but I was able to google image the pictures inside of 2 minutes. I’m just saying you might want to consider a different foreground image or go with some original art or maybe something photo-realistic along the style of Tim Bradstreet or even stock images like stockphoto.com.

    I think this is a great project and I look forward to picking up the hardcover.

  3. Re: I think the cover has a lot to offer, but some fans are going to recognize the images

    He did say it’s a work in progress. This is more to give a general idea of the feel/layout than the actual exact cover, I suspect.

  4. Re: I think the cover has a lot to offer, but some fans are going to recognize the images

    Yep. Common practice in graphic design to use images similar to the feel you’re going for in a mockup, just like using greek text to show how text will flow.

  5. Sweet.

    Oh, and I had the strangest experience over the weekend; first I watched The Curse of the Golden Flower and then McLintock!… and I started thinking about “What would McLintock! look like as a Far West adventure?” (Replace the Chinese cook who is retired to be part of the family with a European cook retired to be part of teh family?)

    CU

  6. Re: I think the cover has a lot to offer, but some fans are going to recognize the images

    Um….this project is stated up-front as a mash-up. Recognizable sources are sort of the point. Just like you recognize the original bits of music that go into a musical mash-up.

    I’m OK legally — I’m not using the images themselves, but using the images as the basis for original illustrations. I suppose that an individual could tag me for a Likeness Rights issue, but honestly, I doubt that.

    That said, it is also a work-in-progress. I expect some tweaking will occur.

  7. True about the arm. It is a work in progress. Thanks for the spot about the “stick” — it was supposed to be a post in the background, casting a shadow, but you’re right, it looks like a stick next to him!

  8. Heh. That’s great! (Although, given ‘s recent post about your work on Dresden Files, I’m suprised that you had time to watch one movie, let alone two!)

  9. Re: I think the cover has a lot to offer, but some fans are going to recognize the images

    I looked up a definition of mash-up and I think I have a better understanding of your iconic choice of imagery.

    Just so I understand, I gather from what you’re saying that the image of Jet Li with a Photoshop filter and Clint Eastwood’s gun arm makes him an original illustration, kinda like a collage or Campbell’s soup cans in different colors. Okay, but why do people purchase & license stock photography images? Again, I’m not trying to sound like a jerk here, I’m really just curious. I remember when you talked about Louis Porter Jr. using a promotional image from Universal’s King Kong to sell his “Skull Island” book, and how you thought it was a rip-off that he just clipped Kong’s right eye and flipped it. I understand that that wasn’t a mashup, nor did he do much Photoshop manipulation to the original, except probably flip it. Had he inversed the image or applied other filters, would it have become an original illustration?

  10. Re: I think the cover has a lot to offer, but some fans are going to recognize the images

    Part of the problem is that you’re misunderstanding the process. I didn’t take an image of Jet Li and use a Photoshop filter. I took the promo image of Jet Li, and, in Illustrator, manually traced the areas of shadow, creating a piece of vector art, and then altering the stuff that I didn’t think worked well (for example, losing all of the background shadows, changing the object he was holding, etc.). It wasn’t just a matter of taking a photo and filtering it.

    Or, to put it another way: there wouldn’t be a question that this is an illustration, despite the fact that it’s obviously a drawing of the promo photo. Same thing applies here. Just different tools.

  11. Re: I think the cover has a lot to offer, but some fans are going to recognize the images

    I think you’re potentially at risk since celebrities have successfully sued folks on the grounds that their “likeness” was being used without permission. Personally, I’d ditch out on using Mr. Li.

    The art style here is so thoroughly Keith Senkowski-esque, though, that I bet you could get art from him that evokes this same look that’s free-and-clear — both original (or at least non-unauthorized-use-of-likeness-ish), but still recognizable as far as what sources inspired it.

    This is of course, all IMO, IANAL, etc, etc. :)

  12. Re: I think the cover has a lot to offer, but some fans are going to recognize the images

    The plan is to further tweak the center figure, since right now, facially he’s still recognizably Li. I’ve experimented with dropping a flat-brim on him, giving him facial hair, etc. I’m not sure of the final yet.

    I’ve looked at Senkowski’s stuff — from what I can tell, he’s using pretty much the same process as I am (his earlier drafts were recognizably Lee Van Cleef and others, but he’s taken them further away from that in later iterations). So, no need to get art from him, when he’s doing exactly what I’m doing. :)

    One of the benefits (if it can be called that) of my recent tangle with Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. was that Adamant now has a lawyer….and this is an area where we’ve done the research.

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