Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cover Calamity

I drew several covers for DC's Cartoon Network Action Pack last year. Some better than others. It quickly became obvious that whenever Ben 10 was featured on the cover, there were problems. I found out much later that the marketing department at CN mandated that only model pack poses of Ben 10 could be used. I worked super hard on the pencel below:

And then I got it back looking like this:

Check out the differences. DC was forced to rearrange everything. Of course I'm more fond of the pencil, but the real issue is of course, non-artists (who are the ones in charge and directing the art, go figure..) and their interpretations of what it means to be "on model". I've run into this hornet's nest many times in my career. The clip art may be a more definitive drawing, but it's the same one you see over and over. And, if you watch the show, Ben 10 doesn't look anything like the model pack art that's used above.

But what gets me the most is that they don't give kids the credit to be able to know it's the right character. After it's painted the green, brown, white and black, what kid wouldn't know it's Ben 10? Give me a break!

Eventually I found myself more of a graphic designer than a cover artist, slipping in the right JPEG and getting to draw the two inset panels. So, I bowed out of doing them. But I miss it. The covers where this didn't happen were a LOT of fun.

Has anyone else run into this situation?


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