City of Death5 November 2005
This cover came together pretty simply. Because there's a healthy selection of photos from this story and they're all taken well - aided by the serial's great design, from costumes to Ian Scoone's impressive models - most have been seen before, so the cover was never going to startle anyone. So while that picture of Tom is used by a lot of other cover designers, it's such an eye-grabbing image I never intended on using any other. I was quite pleased to find the high-angle shot of the Jagaroth spaceship in an old DWM, though, to make a slight change from the more usual ground-level shots you see.
A couple of original ideas went by the wayside during the cover's execution. I originally intended to separate the three figures by the pointed pylons of Kerensky's time machine, and have the spaceship in the central bubble. Unable to find a decent picture of them, I started to create them from scratch, but quickly realised they weren't going to sit comfortably in the composition (the top one would have ended up almost totally hidden by the logo). So I dropped them for an arguably less original effect of 'time ripples' emanating from the prehistoric event. This allowed me to try out some new 'lighting' techniques using multiple channels, though, and I'm pleased with the result. As the image in the Gallery is rather small, click here for a larger clean version.
The second idea that didn't work out was to have several Mona Lisas drifting across the picture. Again, they just didn't fit with the composition, so she got relegated to the back cover. The final decision was one of colour. My initial blue looked good, but a peachy-orange fitted with the central image nicely. I even tried a Jagaroth green which looked okay but made Scaroth stand out less well. In the end, as you can see, I went with a blend outwards from the peach to the blue to get the best of both.Download the final CITY OF DEATH cover here