Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Pancake Palace

Roaring Brook Press asked me to work on the cover of a new young adult fiction book, by Nan Marino, called Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace, about a talented tween-pop-icon-in-training named Elvis Ruby, who flops on national television and escapes the spotlight by taking refuge in this rundown diner in the desolate pine-lands of New Jersey. 

The full jacket, front/spine/back 

Rough thumbnails focused on giant signage dwarfing Elvis, showing him who's in charge now. 
These super rough gestural drawings, are turned into tighter comps for the art director.

Some of my diner signage reference. Great fun looking for this stuff. 

Sketch B was closest, but this diner was much too fancy, even as drawn, to be the actual Pancake Palace, so we moved the storefront to the back cover, and brought Elvis closer to the viewer. 

We also added a "Jersey Devil" to the drawn logotype, as this is mentioned as being on the placemats at the Pancake Palace. 

A few different versions of Elvis, trying to get the best pose... and a color comp. Wanted to get this acidy green color to the sky so his clothes would pop off the environment. 

A few details... 

I also did a small b/w drawing for the chapter opener. 


Simini said...

Cool! And hooray for illustrated covers on YA books. Aren't enough of those.

nanmarino said...

I adore everything about this cover. It's absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much.

John Hendrix said...

Thanks Nan! So glad to have an author pleased!

tatjana said...

This is great, thanks for showing the preparatory sketches too!