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DC COMICS, Cover Illustration, STAR TREK.
Moore: Brush and ink, china marker.
Palmer: Acrylic paints, Airbrush.

That's the cover art for DC's STAR TREK (Vol. II) Annual #4, published in 1993.  The story is entitled, "To Walk The Night," by Michael Jan Friedman, with interior art by Gordon Purcell, and Pablo Marcos. 

This cover benefited from the extraordinary painting skills of noted artist, Jason Palmer. He's a dear friend of mine, and also has art samples on this site. Check him out, and be humbled.

As I vaguely recall, the interior story for which this illo was the cover involved an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" type of scenario. So, that's actually a duplicate Spock, not the genuine Vulcan article. I forget how the impostors were created in the actual story, but here I elected to have Spock's doppelganger painfully bursting forth from a rock-like egg (also borrowing from "Alien"). The close-up head shot which appears as a cinematic montage element has several purposes. I wanted to clarify just who it was supposed to be emerging from the egg, as well as take full advantage of a key character's likeness. And I wanted the ambiguity of whether this was a close-up of Copy-Spock, or that of the real Spock somehow sensing this diabolical clone "birth" by psychic means. The tension is increased by the appearance of a Starfleet officer (in an environment suit) brandishing his phaser, perhaps aiming to kill Spock. The environment suit is also a subtle hint to viewers that this Spock is more than what he seems, since he is outside without any protection.

* Collaborations being what they are, Jason's fantastic job differs from what I initially envisioned. Time was our enemy. I rushed the ink process, and never got to tighten up specific areas as I usually do. Anyway, I imagined the alien ooze to be a luminous green, not this orange which, I feel, too keenly suggests a volcanic connection. But in the end I think it works. The hotter colors definitely catch the eye, and generate energy. Plus, there's the subtle pun so cleverly linking a Vulcan with a volcano! Haha!

Now, the event I've depicted didn't appear in the story as shown (such can be the strategic nature of cover images). But I took some license in order to achieve an effect I desired: an eerie mood, some dynamism, and a dose of confusion, hopefully enticing potential buyers.

The classic Star Trek fan would observe that this is a younger Spock, as he appeared in the pilot episode, and premiere. Nimoy's make-up is a bit different from later episodes, and his uniform is also an earlier version.

THE PROCESS - Jason painted over a bluelined representation of my original art which was registered, and then overlaid with an acetate sheet of only the black line art, a process akin to cel animation. The main difference is that paint is applied to an opaque board chemically treated to absorb light, and transfer the black line printed on the acetate overlay into a passive blue line. When ready, the acetate overlay is lifted, and the color artist paints on the board using the blue lines as a guide. This process was also used on a couple of my DS9 covers, painted by Richard Ory. The computer has made this process obsolete, but I still appreciate the unique beauty of this type of artistic collaboration, and the old-fashioned ingenuity.

*Original Art is not available.
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© 2006 - 2023 Jerome-K-Moore
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JDLuvaSQEE's avatar

This is amazing!!!! Also, I love that the story is similar to Invasion of the Body Snatchers because Leonard Nimoy was in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers!