Alan Moore/Book Jacket

I was excited about the prospect of designing a jacket for Bill Baker’s interview with Alan Moore. I’m a big fan of Alan’s (The Watchmen, Tom Strong and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen are some of my favorite books) and Bill and wanted to do them both justice. The reader of an Alan Moore book would be visually savvy and used to seeing a lot of eye candy on the shelf.

Melinda's Portrait of Alan

Melinda's Portrait of Alan

The only parameters I was given was that the jacket feature a portrait of Alan. The book is part of a 4 book interview series I designed (Neil Gaiman, George Perez, and Michael Oming) that all featured portraits.Bill was asked if there was a possibility of either he or Alan providing me with a photo, his reply back was better than I could have expected. Melinda Gebbie, an artist, writer (Lost Girls ), and Alan’s wife, would be gracious enough do a pen and ink portrait of Alan for the cover.

Bill conveyed Melinda’s thoughts about using the portrait. She saw it akin to da Vinci’s famous self portrait. I saw the da Vinci homage too. When I saw the portrait I I also instantly thought of the Shroud of Turin, hmm…Alan Moore as Christ..this would not go over well marketing wise. My other thought was of this 19th century, carnival, gas lit London stage with Alan being the …shall we say displayee? I knew Alan had an appreciation for that time period and all things steam punk, so it did jive with that as a concept.

The first version I did had Alan’s disembodied head on a platform, which I liked but it drew mixed reactions. I did like the way the head was constructed to suspend on string. Also hiding in the wings (literally) were some found objects suspended by string (really dental floss) I felt were some clues to Alan. If a viewer didn’t get them or even see them it was okay, I was pleased that they were there.

(Left) an earlier incarnation, (Middle) the ivory skeleton, (right) an old key

The final cover is below. Bill was pleased with it and it was relayed to me that Melinda was also. Though I do wonder if she was more than a little surprised a bit by my different direction of her portrait .


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