King Kong Vs. Hitler Artwork Process

King Kong Vs. Hitler Artwork Process

King Kong Vs. Hitler is a short story that I co-wrote and art directed, that will be appearing in both Gnarly Magazine and Monster Bizarro Magazine, sometime in early 2018.

Illustration by: Jonathan Chanutomo

I thought I'd share the artwork process for that short story.

You can't have a great final illustration without an equally great sketch to share with the artist! Now, I knew I wanted the main portion of the illustration to appear on the right side of the magazine spread. And I knew what the angle and composition should be. So, I got my Sharpie marker out and scribbled the most fantastic looking Kong and Adolph. See?

Along with my sketch, I sent the illustrator the size specs for where his artwork would appear on the magazine page. A quick page layout mockup makes things a lot easier for the artist to envision where their illustration will be positioned. In addition to the main Kong Vs. Hitler illustration, I also requested a subtle background that I could use to lay the story text over.

A few days later the artist emailed me the beginning stages of his sketch and illustration work. I was a little nervous at first, but the detail in Kong's head matched the style of art in the artist's portfolio. You'd be surprised how often artists steal artwork from other artist portfolios or social media sites and plop it in their portfolio, claiming it's their own!

Oh, and what's with blue King Kong? I didn't say anything to the artist at first because I thought that maybe he was just using blue as a base color and things would be color-corrected in the final version...

A few days later the artist sent me close-to-final artwork. I was very happy with the character illustrations as well as the Manhattan background. Still not happy with grape ape...

Planes have been added, and Ann Darrow also makes an appearance on Kong's shoulder! A subtle texture has been added to the overall illustration as well. The artist called this "final" in his email. Um. No. I shot the artist an email and requested a color change for Kong so he looks more familiar.

And here's the final illustration. I was very happy with the Kong color change and was ready to bring this artwork into the page layout program (InDesign)...

But, not before a request for an Ann Darrow illustration to use as an additional visual interest graphic for one of the story pages. The story spans six full magazine pages and I wanted a little extra artwork to appear with the text.

Here's the final Ann Darrow illustration.

And, though I'm not showing the full six story pages, you can see how I used the artist's illustration in my layout, as well as how I used a gritty halftone treatment to knock out some of the illustration to better blend in with the dark background. The dark background is a heavily textured photo of concrete, re-colored, with a large, grungy, halftone dot pattern. Overlay the title text, story text, and viola! Take that, Hitler!