The CRISIS Magazine: Hollywood Issue

I was very lucky to get a repeat commission from The CRISIS magazine in January. Wayne was looking for a bold image for the cover of their Hollywood issue. The main push of the issue is how there are not many African Americans in the film industry, and he wanted to work with a portrait of a film-industry African American calling others to action. The sketches:The first sketch was a spoof of the popular Rodchenko poster that was imitated for many album covers including Franz Ferdinand. Next was a Moses-type figure with film reels. Basically, with this image I was communicating that film is a way for African Americans to deliver a message by having a figure "delivering" the film to us, the viewer. Sketch 3 is pretty straightforward, and it depicts an African American man with dreadlocks that morph into rolls of film. The last sketch is of a figure calling for action through a microphone; this sketch operates on two levels by not only calling to action but also alluding to a film director using a megaphone on set.
Wayne decided to go with the last sketch, and he requested that I incorporate the word "Action!" into the image. I tried doing so in several ways including overlaying it and using a speech balloon to isolate what I thought would be the main article. However, it turned out that it was not an article headline, but simply text to accompany the image so he chose the overlay. Final art:
Among several color mocks, we originally decided to go with a red background and lots of bleed as he had a large amount of text to work with, but then we decided to use the figure against white. Above is the submitted final art and the final cover after the revision. I'm happy to say that we managed to stay very close to my original composition; I felt bleeding the megaphone off the right side was an invitation to the reader to open the cover. Thanks to Wayne for a great assignment!

-Enjoy the Day,