Last year, Simon & Schuster asked me if I was available to do a cover for this really fun middle grade novel called Dead City by James Ponti. As I read through the email and saw "Zombies" and "New York City" I got really excited and I jumped at the chance to work with them.
The designer suggested a couple of concepts to start with and I sketched up a few really quick thumbnails...
They really liked dark alley idea with the zombie hand coming up through the manhole, which was one of my favorites too. The book has an element of humour to it and I thought it was kind of a witty way to integrate the zombie and New York themes nicely. I also really liked how the low angle makes the main character, a 13 year old girl by the name of Molly, look more powerful than her size would otherwise suggest. From here I got some direction on a lighting style and colour palette and set to work on the final.
This was a super fun project to work on and I really like how the piece ended up. It was a great experience working with Lisa Vega at Simon & Schuster and I love what she did with the cover design. The book is scheduled for an October 2012 release and I can't wait to see it in print.