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Monday, February 8, 2016

Isis: Bride of Dracula Rough Cover Concept

I spent the weekend drawing! And I came up with a rough cover concept for Isis: Bride of Dracula.

This is just me getting ideas on paper, nothing is final here. There are some things I want to change like composition of John’s body. I want him at a ¾ pose so people can see his full face and him expressing stronger body language as he faces off against Isis. I also want to do some better positioning of the figures because the perspective is way off. Isis needs to be a little further back and John needs to be a lot taller. The photo does a better job of telling the story than my drawing. 

The story I’m trying to tell here is that Dracula is in a mist and he’s floating above a hypnotized Isis who is holding a butcher knife and is about to attack John. John is in a defensive stance ready to defend himself. And while these two heroes take each other on, Dracula is smiling anticipating the carnage that’s about to ensue.

The mood for the cover I’m planning is very dark and spooky with Dracula’s fog swirling about at the bottom of the cover and rising to the top where Dracula floats.

If I had to sketch this out again I’d love to put in a background like a living room of a postmodern home with moonlight shining through the skylights or beaming out of a picture window. This scene in the story is set in the Hamptons and I thought it’d be fun to make a postmodern House of Horrors as those gaudy homes are kind of horrific from an architectural point of view.

This is John Haynes’ first cover on the Isis series and I wanted him to make a powerful statement on it. The body language I want John to have in the proposed cover is a man who is courageous and brave, determined and ready to take on the challenge of Dracula and his vampire goddess. 

I wanted John’s image to display strength and confidence for this cover because I believe it’s important for my readers to see a strong masculine image of a Black man in media. These days it’s rare to see that kind of image of Black men in media and I wanted readers to be presented with a strong masculine image of a Black man who was confident and ready to take on whatever challenge was placed in front of him.

The Image of Isis is inspired by actress Yvonne Monluar who was featured in the 1960 Hammer Horror film Brides of Dracula. In the picture I saw in my Google searches she was wearing an off-the shoulder nightgown I thought would show off Isis’ ankh pendant and would look great in pictures. I saw a picture of a nightgown to the one Yvonne was wearing on a lingerie website downloaded it, sketched it up and it really set the mood for the story I was telling in pictures.

Dracula himself is a Classic Bela Lugosi inspired version of Dracula with some Christopher Lee influences and some of my own contemporary touches like a higher cape collar, a tailored business suit, and a chain. This Dracula is more a businessman and is out to protect his business interests from the threat John created in Isis: Night of the Vampires.

Isis: Bride of Dracula is the final story in the John Haynes arc. If you’ve been following the Isis series that arc started in Isis: Wrath of the Cybergoddess, continues in Isis: Night of the Vampires and E’steem: Undercover and concludes here in this adventure. I want to close the arc with a bang and leave readers eager for the next Isis series adventure coming up Isis: Samurai Goddess.

I’m really excited about this story and I’d love to see Bill Walko’s art on the cover for it. After seeing some of his horror comics featuring The Teen Titans and the Wonder Twins I think he’d tell an amazing story in pictures using these characters and this setup!

Isis: Bride of Dracula is one of the books that is part of the SJS DIRECT Cover Kickstarter! Every donation you give helps me raise the funds to make this cover concept a reality! 

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