Frontios30 May 2011
This was a pretty straightforward cover to design: the Doctor and Gravis were all it really seemed to need, and I knew I had some nice big photos in DWM I could use for the latter. The BBC site kindly provided a good clean shot of the former that just need some minor cleaning up (mainly painting out the TARDIS console from in front of him). I could have had the Gravis taking up the complete right-hand side of the illustration, but decided it needed something more interesting in the bottom corner. My initial, obvious thought was a shot of the titular planet, being bombarded my meteors, but that felt a little overdone on other covers and would have required the background to be spacey, which didn't fit the feel of the story for me. So I briefly considered using Brazen, as the closest thing to a villain, but again he didn't feel quite right.
Having pooh-poohed a space background, going underground seemed the appropriate alternative, and a Google search produced a good soil texture. A shot of Tractators in their lair surrounding the caged Plantagenet provided a scene for the bottom corner -- with the latter replaced by the mining machine -- and rather than just the textured background I livened it up with some radiating gravitation waves, and some subtle TARDIS roundels. Finally, I decided the Gravis looked a little odd with his antennae hidden by the cover logo, so I chose to make one of my rare exceptions and have them overlapping the logo, which required them to be re-angled slightly.Download the final FRONTIOS cover here