I had a problem with making an exciting cover for this book. I have read the list of contributor illustrations and if all the artists contribute then the excitement is all in the book. So I thought I would go with a tone or mood piece for the cover. Also I was requested to have Billy, Babs, and the pony Brazos on the cover. Well they only appear for a split second together in the book. So actually illustrating a scene from the book was totally out from the beginning. Which poses a problem in itself.
Billy, the Mucker, tries to make good thru out the book for the love he has for Barbara Harding. He fights his inner demons of violence and isolation. Barbara tames those feelings and makes him want to be a better man. A man like she would want. Hence the shirtless Billy ready to fight at the drop of a hat, and Babs beside him gently pushing his hand down.
I sure hope it works on that level. I try, what can I say.
Also the costuming in this piece was difficult. Burroughs, usually descriptive as hell, in this book left out alot of visual information. Babs is mentioned about half way thru the Return of the Mucker as wearing 'riding togs'.....ok then her clothing is never mentioned again. So in Mexico around the turn of the century riding togs I took as a rough shirt, riding breeches, and added the scarf around her neck as some color, and to offset the fact I didn't show the full figure.
Now comes the tough decision: how to finish the piece. Digitally or traditionally.
The pros and cons are with digital there is no original to sell. I thought I would ink the pencils to sell them to offset the fact there wouldn't be a finished painting. Also with my lack of painting the last few years, at least traditionally, there are the screw ups which will happen. I don't really have the time to screw up on this and start over.
So I have to ponder what to do next. Any thoughts, Legionnaires?