Science fiction comics, pulp fiction and horror have always appealed to me. Growing up in the 70s reading comics such as Nightmare and Psycho and watching Christopher Lee flashing his teeth as Dracula gave me a taste for the macabre. When I got the desire to recreate the mood and feel of these wonderful stories that dominated newsstands from the 30s though to the 60s and 70s, I found I could do it easily with Photoshop. Here I’ll take you through my process. I won’t be concentrating on the technique as much as explaining the choices you make when choosing text, colour and mood, because these comics were all about mood.
A good idea before starting something like this is to look around the internet for comics and covers that inspire you. Creating a convincing look for something like this requires a degree of research into your inspiration, and an understanding of what the covers were trying to achieve. I’ll start with the basic production of the image for the cover, from sketching through to final image.
Then I’ll show the techniques for ageing and presenting the finished cover as a complete image. This is a dark and scary workshop, so only continue if you’re prepared to find out what made that scraping noise in the attic…
From issue 21.