Monday 16 May 2011

Steve Cook - Photo finish!

2000AD has a long and proud tradition of photo covers, many of them being the work of 2000AD Design Droid & artist Steve Cook. As well as ace designer (he designed the current 2000AD logo) Steve is a photographic artist of some repute with his long running Alternity project (fusing old and new photography) and an extensive portfolio that includes major and minor stars such as Freddie Mercury, William Orbit, Sophie Aldred, Robert Crumb, Stephen King and Adam West!

I contacted Steve to see if he had any covers to send for the blog and he was kind enough to send these great images of the cover of Prog 1615 featuring Jenna Makarov, or rather model Valeria Dragova.

Steve says "I took a fair few photos of Valeria Dragova, but strangely it was one of my lighting test out-takes of her that seemed to be the best image to start with. Having seen the script and knowing the outline of the story, this particular image had the essence of what I was looking for. I then built it up digitally, layer upon layer after first sending a rough design to get the go-ahead from the editor."

Below is the rough...

And the lighting test shot...

Steve continues "Rather than attempting to source a Russian costume to shoot, it was actually quicker to create her tunic in Adobe Illustrator and then manipulate it in Photoshop based upon John Burns’ original design."

Being a thickie, I asked Steve to tell me more about the hat and crest. He said "The hat was added from another shot and the crest then added to that, with a bit of fake shadow detail. I have a pretty extensive archive of negatives to sample bits from."

"I made sure I left plenty of space around her to give the designer enough room for the logo, cover lines, barcode and other elements and I think he did an excellent design job on the finished cover design..."

Finally a word from Steve about the lovely model, he says "Beware googling Valeria, her pics can be somewhat – racy!!! : )" Naturally, I've followed his advice so don't know what he could possibly mean!

HUGE thanks to Mr Cook for taking time out to send the images - it's brilliant to see a different kind of cover coming together.

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