Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Bad Unicorn

Simon and Schuster commissioned me to illustrate the book jacket of an upcoming trilogy of young adult fantasy books called, of all things, Bad Unicorn. To say this was a dream job is to underestimate the disbelief I had when the art director herself suggested that I "impale a squirrel on the horn of Princess, the man-eating unicorn" Yeah. No problem. 

The full wrap jacket with the spine.

These were my first three concepts, they went with A, but needed less "Rambo" in the unicorn. They mixed and matched the back cover from C. 

A tight sketch and a few color comps. 

My first pass used 'atomic' colors, acidic greens and reds. But, this seemed not 'boyish' enough for the editor, so we switched the jacket and spine to black. Which works just as well. Plus, we added the 'greyscale rainbow' ... nice touch. 

Thanks to art director, and Washington University grad, Jessica Handleman for the great project! 


Wilson Swain said...

I love the rodents with swords. Also black rainbows please me.

Tanya said...

Awesome! I totally judge a book by its cover and this is definitely one I will read. Have you seen the cover for the YA book "Zombies vs Unicorns"?

Platte F. Clark said...

Hey John,

As the author of Bad Unicorn, I just wanted to say I love what you've done--brilliant! Here's to fire kittens and impaled squirrels!

John Hendrix said...

Wow, thanks Mr. Clark! An honor to work on such amazing content. Hope this is a huge book.