Monday, December 15, 2008

Digging Machine

This is an unused concept sketch for a paperback cover for the novel Digging Leviathan by James Blaylock. The story involved a kid building a homemade machine to dig down to Pellucidar under modern-day LA.

I love a science fiction premise that mixes the bizarre and the banal, and I relished the opportunity to include a Rambler, a Mobil sign, a fish flag, and a TV antenna.

We didn’t end up using that particular sketch, though, because it didn’t have quite enough immediate impact. Instead we used a design that put the machine more in silhouette.


Erik Bongers said...

Ah, more of the 'did not make it of' stuff.
Good, good.
Agree again : silhouette view gives better information. Much more information!
Although the first version is more dramatic.

Jeff Z said...

Isn't that a Nash Metropolitan rather than a Rambler?

I like the first one much better as an illustration but the other is a stronger book cover.

Mr. Wales said...

The first thing I noticed was the red Pegasus sign. In a funny way, it made it modern mythology. The second one is definitely a better cover. Why not have the second as a interior illustration? There needs to be more of those in books!

Jamomisa said...

I still have this book! :-)

Unknown said...

Great Cover...but the type is horrible. I love the Japanese kite.

James Gurney said...

Good eye, Jeff. I think you're right.

Andy, I wish there were more interior illustrations. The specialty limited edition presses have been able to do some of that.

Thanks, Erik...I'll try to do more "making of" posts in the future.

Frank, as you know, we illustrators had no control over type, but sometimes the type designers came to my rescue and made a weak cover look better.