You’ll recall from an earlier post that I’ve been working with the cover artist from Strongman Volume 1 (still available at finer retailers near you, as well as on Amazon, of course - link should be just to the right!), Paul Adam, to create a new cover for Strongman 2.  I really enjoy working with Paul, because he’s (a) he’s fantastically talented, and (b) he’s incredibly willing to work on a concept until it’s just right.  He did it on the cover for V1, and we all know how well that turned out.  He seems to be a firm believer in one of my own guiding creative principles: “you don’t have all your good ideas at once.”  It often takes a few clumsy or misguided initial attempts before you understand what you’re really trying to create.  You discard what doesn’t work and keep the rest, and add on a new set of ideas.  After several rounds, you end up with something that’s been honed down until it’s almost all great ideas.  Some of them might have survived from that first draft, but usually it’s a mix, in sort of a bell curve shape.  In other words, most of the keeper ideas come from the middle set of drafts, because the initial draft has been mostly discarded, and by the final draft or two you’re just tweaking the good stuff.

So, all of that wordy BS leads us to the most recent version of the Sm2 cover:

More amazing work from Paul Adam.

This is actually the seventh version of the cover Paul has worked on (told you he was willing to put in his time!) and we’re really getting close.  The image is getting almost a pulp cover vibe, which I personally love, because it works with the story very well.  Also doesn’t hurt, of course, to have added a beautiful woman on a boat in a bikini – that’s the sort of thing that moves paper.  The nice thing about this, too, is that Paul read the entire script before he put pen to paper, and it’s massively informing what he’s doing.  This cover isn’t just a cool image, it’s actually thematic; it works with the book’s story.

I haven’t decided whether I’ll debut the actual cover here yet, but it should be done fairly soon.  I’ll also have some new pages from the inside of the book before you know it, not to mention more from 27.  That cover’s almost done too, and MAN is it looking good. 

Books!  Love them!  Especially mine!