Sunday, March 28, 2010

Logos and Stuff

Just a few odds and ends this time. I'd hoped to have more art to post but it feels like my life has been turned upside down (again) the last couple of weeks. Suzanne and I are fine but work has been downright nasty and there have been some other things I don't want to go into online. The work thing is frustrating because I remember many times in college when our roommates or friends would claim to be envious of us art students because they were under the impression we didn't have to work as hard as the rest of the student population. I have very vivid memories of all-nighters, sick to my stomach on No-Doze and Vivarin, trying to finish my projects on time while my roommates were snoozing away, having finished their two hours or so of math homework. Those guys are now making great livings as Pharmacists and Physical Therapists, working bankers hours and spending nights and weekends with their families while Suze and I are still plugging away doing 14-hour days and having to meet unreasonable deadlines. It feels stupid to complain about our jobs while good people are out of work but I guess the grass is always greener. I should be grateful to be getting a paycheck, I suppose.

And not be a complete downer, but I heard this weekend that Dick Giordano passed away after struggling with an illness. I can't say I was a raving fan but I did like his work and could always spot it a mile away. He was a giant in the industry and I was too intimidated to say hello at conventions. That's something I regret because he seemed to be a very nice, approachable man. My sincere sympathies to his family, friends and fans.

Last post, PJ mentioned wanting to use Mike's LOST character drawings for a post about the show but not wanting to presume. PJ, it was very nice of you to wonder that. All I can say is that I don't think Mike would have minded. He probably would have been flattered. So please feel free. My only concerns with people using Mike's work is that a) folks don't try to pass it off as their own, b) if any money is to be made as a result, I would hope it would be passed on to the Mike Wieringo Scholarship Fund at S.C.A.D. and c) I'm made aware of it so I can make sure Mike's work isn't being used for something unsavory or in a way I feel Mike wouldn't appreciate. None of those apply to you, PJ, so post away.


Okay, on to some smiles. For me, anyway. One of the bright spots in my life that keeps me going through the long hours at my job is my work on THE HAND ME DOWN HORROR. I'm fully aware of the odds against me ever finishing the project, much less getting it published, but it's a fun little diversion and I really enjoy myself when I'm working on it. Sometimes I picture the ten or twelve people who read this blog seeing the stuff I post and thinking to themselves, "He's not serious, is he?" The answer is yes...and no. I have no illusions. At this point, I'm aware that I'm doing fan fiction. I'm also aware that if, by some slim chance, the book actually makes it to the finish line, it will be inevitably compared to the work of my brother and found lacking. And I'm fine with that. I expect it will be either panned, ignored or overlooked completely. But I'm doing it for me and that's all I need. It gives me the hope that my life can be more than sixty hours a week at my desk and dinners in front of the TV. If people end up liking it, that's just gravy.

As I've been drawing the characters and seeing them come to life in front of me (I only had the vaguest of ideas what some of them looked like.) the project has become more and more real to me. I thought maybe having a logo for the book would solidify things for me. I was right. One day, during my lunch break, it was raining outside and I couldn't take my usual walk. So I spent it working on the logo and came up with several possibles. Christian helped me whittle down the candidates. This was his favorite:

His view was that it had a nice old-school typography look to it. I agreed with him. The problem is that, with this logo, I fear that my Stephen King influences are showing. This font is very similar to the one used in the DEAD ZONE logo. It's why I chose it, in fact. I even did a stacked version that was much too close for comfort. I got so distracted by the similarities that I don't think I can bear to use it. Sorry Christian.

So this is the one I'm going with. I think it looks cleaner and a little more modern. I will most certainly tweak it before I'm done but I think it's close. I hope you dig it.

I was so happy with the direction the logos were taking that I whipped up a cover sketch with my Wacom tablet at work and put the logo on it. I'm extremely happy with the cover design but I'm afraid I can't post it because I feel it reveals a little more than I'm ready to share yet. Maybe once the writing is done.

Have a great week and I hope I didn't come off sounding like this chick:


Anonymous said...
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todd said...


todd said...

no, seriously...

great post, matt, and i love the logos!
my personal pick would be the first one, but what do it know. i just remember erik larsen grabbing mike and me when we first started tellos and told us that the logo (the original) was too muddy and unreadable from across a comic shop. we listened.
these days, though, with all the stuff that on the shelves/racks, it seems that it doesn't really matter--people who care will look closer and be intrigued by something new and clean. i love these.
can't wait to see Hand Me Down Horror on the shelves!!

Matt Wieringo said...

Sorry, Todd. That was my Chinese friend who was trying to spoil the end of LOST for everyone. Dammit, 惠蘋!!! Stop that!!!

Brian said...

Hey Matt,

First and foremost, what you are doing is not fan fiction. Fan fiction is when people take someone else's characters, be it from TV, movies, books or comic books, and write their own stories, often with little to no care for the integrity of the existing story or character.

What you are doing is creating an original work of fiction and, if Todd says it is good, then believe me it is good. He would tell you if it wasn't, in a very nice way, of course, because he is Todd, but trust me, he would tell you.

Ok, on to the logos. Like Todd - and who doesn't like Todd - I prefer the first one. There is just such a great visual impact to it and it really gives one a feeling of foreboding.

I, however, am not a big horror comic, book or movie fan, so I really cannot judge if it is too similar to the King logo.

The second one is certainly much easier to read from across the comic store, but doesn't convey the same sense of fear and foreboding. That said, since you actually have the word "Horror" in the title you will certainly get across the message to your target audience, the horror fans, that this book is in their favorite genre, so it isn't as essential that the type face say horror as it would be if the title was something like "Rosemary's Baby." One certainly needs a scary font and a black crib on the cover of a book with that title to get young male horror fans to pick it up off the shelf lest they mistake it for chic lit. ;-)

Josh said...

I like both logos. The first one reminds me of movies like the Creepshow movies and the Tales From The Darkside movie.

Casey Jones said...

I like the Dead Zone inspired logo -- only "constant readers" like us will even catch it, so don't worry. It's sharp!