It’s just been announced, the Free Comic Book Day Gold Comic from IDW will by Transformers vs. G.I.Joe by me and John Barber. We just turned in our script for this issue, and it is hands-down the best thing I’ve ever worked on. I wrote a little bit about the research process at ComicsAlliance. Here’s the cover art:

TvsJFCBDCoverFinalSplat

Initially Ed Piskor and I hatched a plan to create an unofficial crossover with our Free Comic Book Day books. We were both going to use a layout that pays homage to Marvel’s 25th Anniversary covers.

SE25A

Here’s Ed’s HHFT Free Comic Book Day cover for Fantagraphics (minus the surprise reveal of the issue’s star):

Piskor

Here’s my initial layout for the Transformers vs. G.I.Joe Free Comic Book Day issue:

RoughCoverFCBD

I think the end result would’ve been great, but to be honest, as an image, I just wasn’t feeling it. I liked the prankish aspects of us doing an unofficial crossover. I thought it was something that could be highly promotable, the idea of two friends creating an unofficial crossover between their FCBD books. I lament the missed opportunity for those reasons. But as iconic as it is, I’ve just never been a big fan of that Marvel 25th Anniversary layout.

For a comic about Hip Hop, the idea of using a classic superhero layout like this is genius, real outside-the-box thinking, which perfectly fits Piskor’s “Hip Hop as Superheroes” thesis. For a Transformers vs. G.I.Joe comic, where this layout has been used before more than once, it seemed like it would be a bit obvious. These are the difficult decisions an artist has to make. This isn’t your father’s Transformers/G.I. Joe comic. I wanted to show a real break from what’s come before with Transformers and G.I. Joe, the start of a new era that reflects my aesthetic, my strengths as an artist.

Something immediate. Something you’ve never seen before. Something like this:

FCBDcoverRough

With a layout I was happy with, I went about penciling:

TvsJFCBDCover2

Then inking and texturing:

TvsJFCBDCoverFinalFinal

Then color (with the assistance of the great Josh Burcham):

TvsJFCBDCoverFinalSplat

So that’s the long and winding road to a comic book cover.

Retailers, order a ton of IDW’s Transformers vs. G.I. Joe Free Comic Book Day Gold Comic. Watch everybody come back a month later to buy issue one.

Comics Fans, ask your retailer to order a bunch of these so you’ll get your copy.