Brendan H. Wright talks Gallery Editions

Over at his own site Wright discusses putting together two Dark Horse Gallery Editions, Robocop Versus The Terminator Gallery Edition and Usagi Yojimbo: Samurai and Other Stories Gallery Edition. Here are some salient quotes.

Designer Tina Alessi and I looked to the world of high-end archival books to create a classy and unified appearance for the line. The first version I received looked great but, with its dark blue borders, I felt it was too staid, a bit reminiscent of law books. However, much of the rest of what became the look of the covers was already in place, and Tina’s suggestion of a woody, chipboard texture for the next draft perfectly captured the feeling of something important without being stuffy. It still felt like it deserved a white-glove treatment but had an organic element that brought it greater warmth. The second draft became essentially the finished version, and the minimalist interior design followed. Key to its success was the subtle use of color throughout to make the black line art stand out. All the design pages used a navy blue instead of black and some light brown design elements evoked the cover and unified everything. 

With RoboCop versus the Terminator, Walter Simonson himself oversaw the scanning of his artwork and we received the files (with the exception of photocopied pencils, which came to the office in a stack for us to choose from), so all of the quality control and checking against the originals was done on Walter’s end. For Samurai, Stan FedExed the originals to Dark Horse, where designer and production artist Cary Grazzini (who has worked on Usagi longer than anyone except Stan) and I went through them page by page. Cary outdid himself with the scanning, taking incredible care to reveal every tiny bit of whiteout and faint pencil work. I compared proofs of every page to the art pages and noted places where a detail of the originals could be brought out more, and somehow Cary managed to bring them all to life. It’s the work of someone every bit as masterful in his field as Stan is in his.

Well worth a full read to get a peek at the origins of Dark Horse’s Gallery Editions.