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DC PRIDE 2022 🏳️🌈
My Harley + Ivy Shiny Variant Cover ♠️♥️🌿✨
DC has officially announced its PRIDE 2022 anthology, and my 1:25 variant cover has been revealed! If you were following me on Twitter last year, you might recall the one I did for the PRIDE 2021 anthology featuring Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, as well as the concepts I originally submitted:
I wasn’t expecting to revisit these, but late last year DC reached out to me about taking A to final for 2022, and they wanted to give it a special shiny/foil finish to boot..!! I know specialty printing on variant covers can be a contentious issue for some collectors, but I have to admit—I’m a sucker for anything foil/holographic. And to my knowledge, I don’t think any of my variant covers has ever gotten any specialty treatment in print! So I of course quickly agreed and got to work.
I don’t know about other artists, but I feel like I have such limited brain capacity that whenever I’m fully done with a piece, I automatically empty all traces of it from my memory. 😂 Even though these thumbnails were really fleshed out, trying to figure out what my past self had in mind was definitely a struggle. I decided to zoom out a bit instead of cropping them right above the ankles (Why, past-self? Why did you make this choice? Very weird. 🤨) and since I had so much runway on this one timeline-wise, I really wanted to go all out and make it extra special by including a bunch of easter eggs all over the background posters.
Once I had pencils done, I switched over to designing all of the background elements. I knew I wanted this cover to feel like we were seeing Harley and Ivy at a club during Pride, taking a break from the dance floor to get some air—so the idea was to incorporate a bunch of posters and graffiti that let the viewer know they were somewhere in Gotham, at a venue that would probably allow the community to put up flyers and gig posters.
I got some really great suggestions and input from editorial (Shoutout to Andrea Shea, who is simply the best) so I used this as an opportunity to experiment a little and try out different brushes, apps, and techniques. Some of these were done in Clip Studio Paint, some in Procreate, and others in Photoshop. Each program has its own strengths and weaknesses, but I was glad to have the opportunity to get some more mileage in both CSP and Procreate as I’m planning to do a comprehensive “Digital Tools” post in the near future where I can actually break down my thoughts on all of them, and just because of my longtime use and familiarity with Photoshop I’m always a bit predisposed to be biased towards it (even though it honestly sucks sometimes, lol.)
And here’s how it all looks, fully inked, colored, background elements placed, and lighting effects turned on. 💡✨ I definitely went a little overboard on this cover and spent way too much time on it, but Pride is near and dear to my heart so I’m glad I did. I hope you guys like it! Detail shots below:
Oh! Before I end this, I wanted to let you guys know that Substack now has an official app for iOS—I haven’t had a chance to fully dive into it yet, but if you’re like me and don’t actually like to get a bunch of newsletter emails, but want to see updates from the folks you’re subscribed to in an organized way, I think the app lets you do just that.
Thanks so much for reading all the way to the end. 🤓💖 Here’s hoping that the world is doing a little bit better by June and that those of us who celebrate Pride will have the opportunity to actually partake in 2022. 🏳️🌈✨