|Preliminary sketch #2 by Arthur Ranson|
When I was asked to design the Judge Anderson, Shamballa Graphic Novel for Fleetway back in 1991, I thought it would be good to get away from the usual full-figure leather-clad Judge Anderson images that Titan had on their book covers. Not that I had anything against them; they were beautifully rendered by Garry Leach and they looked terrific, but I just thought it would be interesting to have a cover that showed Anderson using her psychic powers and quietly thinking. I spoke to Arthur Ranson about this and he sent me a couple of sketches, one which nailed it perfectly. With that approved he went on to complete the full artwork and I set about designing the cover itself. For some reason, I couldn't find any type styles that seemed interesting enough for the 'Shamballa' main title, so I hand drew it based on something I'd seen in a book of Russian typography. The rest was typeset, as was everything in those pre-computer days; either typset or rubbed down from sheets of Letraset anyway. The symbols were taken from a set of Zener cards that I owned. These are used to conduct experiments for extra-sensory perception, so I thought they'd be relevant as well as being graphically interesting.
Not long after I'd completed the camera-ready artwork, Arthur's finished art arrived in the post and looked absolutely stunning as it always did; in fact I liked it so much he agreed to let me buy the original from him. I also kept photocopies of his original sketches which I present here, so you can see the process from preliminary sketch to the final beautifully rendered artwork.
|Preliminary sketch #1 by Arthur Ranson|