Anatomy of a book cover

The ComicScene History of Comics is live on Kickstarter now.

We’ve been working on the History of Comics books for a while. We felt that as general magazine sales decline and book sales go up it was time for a high quality, definitive collection about the history of comics.

Having worked with several top writers, academics, publishers, creators and comic fans over two years on the magazine it seemed an ideal time to bring these people together and record their expertise (and others we haven’t worked with yet!) in a highly collectable limited edition series of books for future generations.

There are many fine books out there on the subject of comic history but we had yet to see any that featured this exciting medium year by year over a defined period. We felt the time was right to do that. We cover 1930 to 2030, but will go right back to the 16th century within each volume.

We took the decision to raise the funds to do this major piece of work on kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform that was helping people create eclectic and exciting comics in the 21st Century. This gives us an indication if there is an appetite for this work and comic fans around the world can endure they begin their collection. You can join the project here.

When we approached the design of ComicScene magazine in May 2018 we wanted to create a slick ‘fanzine’ look, rather than be a carbon copy of more modern magazines on the shelves. We wanted to make ‘The History of Comics’ more distinctive, cool, modern, edgy, easier to read and a series of quality looking books.

We played around with covers utilising artwork that touched on the content inside. Whilst commercial we felt the design was too like a mainstream magazine and, as this was to be a limited edition collectable Partwork, we felt a theme to run through the initial run would give us the distinctive book covers we were looking for.

The scrapped ‘Magazine style’ cover

Step forward Flops Comics who we discovered via Instagram. Their designs were ideal and their pop culture reference look for comic and film imagery were top notch. Could we work together with our Edinburgh Design Agency The Burgh and come up with something that would appeal?

Here are some of the designs we worked up for the first four issues after showing the initial cover idea to the team. We hope you enjoy this behind the scenes look at the cover process.

You can support the kickstarter by 30th July here.

Initial designs
Initial designs.
Taking shape.
Black and white inks
Getting there.
More defined image.
Adding design.
Playing with colours.
Playing with typefaces.
Getting there.
Final version (for now!)
Capturing Princess Leia.
White space a challenge.
Struggling with the look.
Eye placement helping.
Capturing the bubble gum card feel.
A collectible card!
Capturing the 1970’s.
Initial sketches.
What should the Mekon be reading?
The first book in the series works!
Less text – more image!
Inspiration for a Watchman cover.
Jupiter rising!

We are happy to announce the kickstarter will also include a pledge for digital copies of every ComicScene Magazine (20 in total and currently distributed in the U.K., Ireland, Australia, Canada and the United States) and the first ComicScene State of Independents Yearbook 2020 in print.

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