THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN
Though developed as a separate creator-owned project by Alan Moore and artist Kevin O'Neill, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was published as part of the America's Best Comics line. Design on the first volume was handled by WildStorm Productions staffers, but for the second volume I was asked to do design work on the covers and interior text pages. I also ended up doing cover design work for the hardcover edition of Volume 2, and the trade paperbacks of both 1 and 2, as well as the Absolute Editions of each. Here are some samples.
The volume 2 covers all shared the same logo frame, but each issue had a different Victorian font. This is a favorite, and the only real group shot of the main characters. I worked closely with Kevin on these, which was a great pleasure. For each issue's back cover I also designed the character portraits, again with each in a different style.
Issue four is, I think, the most dramatic and action-filled image, and I also love the color scheme that Kevin and colorist Ben Dimagmaliw came up with. The logo might have been hard to read in a layout like this if the art elements in front of it were a little larger, but fortunately it all worked fine.
The interior design work was for The Traveller's Almanac, a feature running through the back of each issue, detailing and tying together scores of imaginary places and characters from all over the world. The main challenge was getting all the text in without making it too small to read. I worked with Kevin on the pictures and layouts, and Alan on the text. I even got to volunteer some favorite literary places to be included in the Americas chapter.
When the issues were collected, Kevin and I created the covers for the Almanac as well. Here Kevin provided the central design in black and white line art, I came up with the rest. The back cover and inside covers were also fun. It was a lot of work getting the "gold leaf" printing effect on this one.
Probably the most difficult design work on the series was the slipcase art for the Absolute Edition of Volume 1. The back cover of that is shown here. First, I searched eBay for an old leather-bound book of the appropriate age and interest, bought it, and scanned it. Then I had to create the cut-outs on the computer to match the art that Kevin had already drawn. I think the result is quite satisfying.
The Absolute Editions also included a separate volume containing Alan Moore's scripts. Here's the cover Kevin and I came up with for Volume 1, having a bit of fun with Alan as well as the series. How many question marks can you find?
All text and images ©Todd Klein, except as noted. All rights reserved.
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