Deviation Actions

IanStruckhoff's avatar

Black Label Comics no. 1

This may well be the final cover design (including the text) for Black Label Comics issue #1. Now lets see if we can finish enough stories in time.

Note: The artwork featured on this cover is not my work. I am the creator and designer, the pretty blue girl is by =drdestiny.

:iconblacklabelcomics: #BlackLabelComics

UPDATE: Now available for pre-order via our Kickstarter. Cover price is $8.00, plus only $2 shipping if you pre-order.

Art: =drdestiny (Jonathan Wyke)
Logo: `ian-x (Ian Struckhoff) with ~iluvwritin (KJ)
Layout: `ian-x (Ian Struckhoff)

Stories Likely for Issue #1

"Introduction" with Juri Hayasaka (*jurithedreamer)

"Tin-Plated Heart" with Francesca Da Sacco (*FrancescaDaSacco)

"The Deathlings: Black Label" with Nicholas Raimo (*8Red7) and Sara Machajewski (=sandpuppeteer).

"The Deathlings: Kid Stuff" with Valia Kapadai (=neurotic-elf)

"The Dark Age: Untitled Masterpieces," a preview chapter from "The Dark Age: All the Magic is Gone" #1) with Rosie Battiloro (=Nachan) and Paulina Vassileva (~pauscorpi)

Preview Pages from "Huginn & Muninn: Blood Brothers" #1 with Jonathan Wyke (=drdestiny)

"The Dream of Death," a preview from "The Deathlings: Anne's Story" #1 with Manuela Soriani (*ManuelaSoriani), Michela Da Sacco (*MichelaDaSacco), Juri Hayasaka (*jurithedreamer), and Reuben Negron (~cobotenuss)

Pin-ups Likely for Issue #1

Ani from "The Deathlings" by Nikki Cook (*Blisterlips)

Anne from "The Deathlings" by Blair Shedd (~onegemini)

Anne from "The Deathlings" by Yasmine Putri (*MischievousMartian)

Anne from "The Deathlings" by Reuben Negron (~cobotenuss)

Ani from "The Deathlings" by Juri Hayasaka (*jurithedreamer)

Huginn & Muninn by Amir Zand (=Sanveganza)

Nameless Deathling by Sina Kasra (=sinakasra)

Sandra Cash by Rosaria Battilori (=Nachan)
Image details
Image size
1000x1500px 580.26 KB
© 2010 - 2021 IanStruckhoff
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
Nirelleth's avatar
That is nice work =)
LiamRSharp's avatar
Great looking cover Ian! :)
IanStruckhoff's avatar
Thanks! I love when Jonathan does this style of art-- and luckily I think my simple design sense works fairly well with it.
Dreagon-emperor's avatar
Hey, I would love to get your opinion on some comic pages that I did. you can find them here Just give me an idea of what to work on. thanks.
IanStruckhoff's avatar
Very quickly, these are the problems that I see:

- Use contrast to put focus on the main subject of each panel. A good trick for a comics colorist is to quickly flip the image into greyscale. If the subject (main figure) doesn't jump out of the background in black and white, then there isn't enough contrast.

- The textures feel a little gimmicky. You've done a great job of giving this a nice naturalistic tone, by using textures. However, I think you may have used a bit too many, as the page is starting to get busy. Don't be afraid to keep things simple.

- Are you working on this for print or for the web? This page is far too dark to print properly. Most printing processes choke up on images where there are a lot of details hidden in the shadows-- Everything "kind of dark" is going to come out "very dark" and nobody would be able to read this.

- The fonts you use need to be clear. The font (or handwriting?) on this page is gorgeous. Unfortunately, I have no idea what it says. It's not showing up with enough contrast from it's background, and it's too ornate for the eye to easily read. This would be great for a background element-- a letter shown in a panel-- but for captions it needs to be more clear. Check out [link] for some great clear comics fonts.

- The anatomy of the demonic figure is problematic. I'd work on a lot of simple figure drawing, and try to draw realistic people more, and then apply what you learn there to developing a style.
Dreagon-emperor's avatar
I greatly appreciate your response and critique. I have experienced the problem with the printing already. Although, I have found that a few adjustment in the in the contrast and brightness fixes this problem. With the font and textures, I am trying to put forth a certain mood and experience that is not typically found when you pick up a comic book. How do you suggest I achieve this with out sacrificing too much of the experience that I am trying to provide my reader? thank you again. for your critique and for the great link.
IanStruckhoff's avatar
I'm not sure I have any advice on how to resolve the font issue. I would simply say that a comic book isn't a painting-- the reading experience has to come before the aesthetics.

My advice is to focus first on the issue with the subjects contrasting from the foreground. (This doesn't mean photoshop tweaks, this means a fundamentally different lighting setup-- The background should be much darker or much lighter than the subject.)
JonathanWyke's avatar
*wishes he had the time to re-draw this sketch*
IanStruckhoff's avatar
Why? It's wonderful.
JonathanWyke's avatar

To re-work the background so it fits with the cover proportions. Clean up some of the rather slap-dash colour placing. Add hair. Work on the eyes to make them shine a little. Be less lazy on her top (lace topping, very bad). Just to name a few.
IanStruckhoff's avatar
Well I dig it.

Never point out your own failings to a happy editor. ;)

Also... Issue #2 is going to print in February. Maybe you can tackle one of the other characters this winter.

For now-- Huginn & Muninn!
JonathanWyke's avatar
Delayed by a day or so, but otherwise on-schedule!
IanStruckhoff's avatar
You're keeping me on the edge of my seat, mate.
The-Real-NComics's avatar
Mmmmhh.. if I will be able to finish it in time, I think that maybe I'd prefer my name as "Nicholas" instead of "Nick" :D u know, "Nick" is just the shorter, but the real name is "Nicholas" hah :)
IanStruckhoff's avatar
Oh, sorry! I went back and forth on that, I wasn't sure what you'd want. I will go with whatever you like, it's your name! So Nicholas it is! :)
The-Real-NComics's avatar
Hahhah :D Don't worry hahha :)
IanStruckhoff's avatar
It's updated now. ;)
The-Real-NComics's avatar
Wooo! Thanks, now it's better hahah :)
IanStruckhoff's avatar
I hope you're happy. You screwed up my whole paragraph formatting! ;)
The-Real-NComics's avatar
Hahhahaha XDD now that I know, I'm even more happy mwhahaha XDD

But if it makes u feel better, I'm working on page 7 and it's coming out pretty cool :D
IanStruckhoff's avatar
That's the kind of thing I like to hear. It's really feeling like we can get all 10 pages done in time! That would be brilliant.

Plus, that way I get to keep your name on the cover. I'd hate to have to update that again. ;)
View all replies
neurotic-elf's avatar

hopefully my name will also be on the cover which it'll only mean I'll give you the story on time :spin:
IanStruckhoff's avatar
Yup. The names on there now are the stories I know will be done, but I'd love to add some more. ;) ;)
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In