Matt's Cover Process For 2000ad Prog 1984

June 06, 2016

After I submitted my design for BLOCK WAR, a poster for Vice Press, 2000AD came back and asked if I would be interested in doing a cover for an upcoming prog. Tharg mentioned it would be prog 1984 and suggested Orwell as a jumping off point.
I instantly came up with the thought of doing something that would play on the classic "Big Brother is Watching You" propaganda posters. 2000ad thought it would be cool if I did that but also set the whole thing within a cityscape similar to
my BLOCK WAR poster.
I then thought it would be a good gag if Judge Dredd was pointing at a piece of propaganda with his own mug shot on, that mirrored his face exactly while looking straight back at us, the reader, as if to say "Watch you step citizen.". I used some of the background elements from my previous poster as I wanted it to be outside the Halls Of Justice again (I just love the design for that building) and also to share a similar style, then quickly roughed up a mock and sent through for approval. The only addition I had to make was add a perp that Judge Dredd has just shot, which I thought would be fun to do as a self portrait based on photo reference.
Now I just had to bring it altogether. I wanted to, as much as possible, ink this piece like it was a panel from a comic and used the styles of classic artists like Cliff Robinson as a jumping off point and then adding my own rougher inked style to the mix. The final stage was colouring and shading. I ended up throwing out the all red approach as I really wanted the propaganda billboard to pop more and draw the eye, so I went with a simple two tone muted colour pallete apart from the flashes of red.

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