Late 2009, I was asked by my friend Etienne, who does a supplement for Spirou magazine, if I would like to draw the cover of the Easter edition of 'Spirou'. For those unfamiliar with the comic, Spirou is one of the longest running Franco-Belgian magazines. A very exciting project indeed, if not a worrying one (my computer was playing up horribly, and I was wondering how the hell I was going to get the artwork done???) ...I immediately got my thinking cap on, and got to work scribbling out some rough ideas for the cover on paper ...ahhh, remember the days of pencil and paper anyone?
The brief was pretty much open to what I should do for it, but somehow I had to incorporate six or at least five of the main characters that feature in every issue of the 'Spirou' comic. Various possibilities were suggested; characters happiliy parading down a street in a horse drawn carriage ...eeeekkkk!!! Maybe a little to ambitious I thought. I submitted five different rough ideas, which I've included here. 'Jaques' the lizard nestled amongst hundreds of eggs, happily painting some of his fellow 'Spirou' characters; symbolic Belgian bell with characters aplenty hanging off it; white, cute, fluffy Easter Bunny, painting eggs? Easter Bunny proved favourite, hurray!
I got to work producing the finished art, and after a few changes suggested by Frederic Niffle -the editor of Spirou - I eventually got it completed, and getting slightly carried away, like I normally do, I did four or five variations of the cover featuring different elments for final approval; spotlight on, spotlight off, spring flower clusters on the bell, no spring flower clusters on the bell? The bell slightly out of focus, the bell in focus, only darker ...oh my! ...You get my drift?
Anyway, the final version became a more simplified affair, we got rid of the spotlight and flowers, plus the ribbon was reduced in size, as well as making the bell a more bronzed colour, plus a light spattering of texture to add a bit of depth to the background. My personal favourite is version 2-b, which I've included here.