Monday, December 6, 2010

The King!

Around the time the third issue of Cars came out, it was time for Heroes Con in Charlotte North Carolina! That's pretty much the heart of NASCAR country, so we wanted to do a special edition cover that focused on one of the legends of NASCAR, and one of the stars of the Cars movie, THE KING! The King is a 1970 Plymouth Superbird that was driven by the great race car driver, Richard Petty (Who also provided the voice for The King in the movie.) Interestingly, the cartoon The King has a name, "Strip Weathers." It's a funny name but I don't know where they got it.

Anyhoo, so I did up a nice illustration of The King for this cover. I'd say what's unusual about this illustration is that it is completely drawn with a computer. I tried to draw it by hand, but those smooth, perfect contours were beyond my skills with a brush. So I scanned my pencil drawing and opened it in Illustrator, and used Illustrator to define the paths that my brush strokes would need to follow to draw this car right. Then I made some custom brush shapes and applied them to those paths. The result is an image that I think LOOKS hand drawn, but is in actuality much more perfect than I could have done by hand.

So, once I had the line art and once I had colored it, I had to come up with the King's logo and number. We were not given these by Disney, I had to make them myself, based on what I could find online. I found a picture of the Dinoco Hauler, the semi truck that carries the cars from one race to the next, and used that as the template for the logos, and I made them in illustrator.

So now I had all the part I would need for this cover, all that remained was to put them together in a way that was balanced and looked cool. I did up 6 versions with slight variations in placement and let Paul choose the one he liked the best. I am posting all the versions here. The one we decided to go with is the last one at the bottom. I agree with Paul, that one was the best! I really think this was a cool cover.

By the way, in case you're ever in North Carolina, head on up to the Richard Petty museum and THIS is what you will find!

Yep! That's the King! One of the coolest things about the Cars movie is how many of the cars are REAL. There is a REAL The King, and you can go see it for yourself! (Just don't touch it! He he!)

Also, interestingly, right across the street from the convention center where Heroes Con is held each year is the NASCAR museum! It's a really cool exhibit, and they even have a Richard Petty #43 car there, but it's a 67 Plymouth. I wish the Petty Blue Superbird had been there, but there was plenty of other cool stuff so I wasn't too disappointed.

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