Thursday, 29 December 2011

Prog 1764 - Loving the Alien!

The brilliant Karl Richardson kicks off 2012 with an absolute stunner of a cover! This terrifying image is for his and Dan Abnett's excellent new strip, Grey Area. The story centres around a group of ETC officers (that's Exo Transfer Patrol to you and me) who police the wonderfully titled 'Grey Area', a temporary holding zone for Extra Terrestrial visitors to Earth.

With many of the aliens' beliefs, characteristics, physical and/or chemical make up unknown, it's a haphazard and very, very dangerous job. The latest addition to the squad is Birdy, the female operative surrounded by those scary looking beasties...

Below is Karl's initial sketch, looking back at my emails he sent this in August!
A few more aliens muscle in on this version of the cover as Karl continues to add and more sumptuous detail (I love the cap!)
The next revision shows the hilarious toothy alien in the background replaced by the mean looking dude with the neck! Karl has also begun to work his magic on the nasty looking creature on the right...
The aliens are just about finished and work begins on poor Birdy...
Almost there as Birdy takes shape...
And, ever the perfectionist, Karl tweaks and refines the image to get it just right! I think he was pleased with it, he said "I've found it the most enjoyable, yet frustrating cover all in one go!"
This is truly an outstanding cover. The composition is fantastic, the design work on the aliens is incredible and the colours absolutely pop! I'm a huge fan of Karl's work and am thrilled to see him back in the prog.

As mentioned previously, Karl really is a perfectionist. Below is a comparison of a splash page which he went back to tweak as he wasn't happy with it. Can you spot the differences? If you can, report to ETC for immediate conscription!
Finally, I thought I'd use this post as an excuse to once again share my wonderful Karl Richardson commission. It's a breathtaking piece that's absolutely jam packed with cool, intricate little details, it looks stunning in the flesh!
Thanks to Karl for the many updates! This cover really is fantastic and may well be a contender for cover of the year 2012! Also, early reviews of Grey Area seem overwhelmingly positive with everyone raving about Karl's incredible art.

I can't wait to see where the story takes us!

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