Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


My Internet pal Jack Badelaire digs old Men's Adventure fiction - you know, stuff like The Executioner, The Destroyer, Nick Carter: Killmaster, Ninja Master, Able Team, et al - as much, or more, than I do. But he's not satisfied just reading old paperbacks until they crumble to dust in his hands, he blogs about them. And now, he's launching an e-zine, Hatchet Force Journal, available at Amazon for the Kindle, dedicated to their testosterone-fueled legacy - as well as the genre's present & future.

Early this morning, I came across the cover image that Jack had created for his 'zine, and as a guy who made his living for 25 years as a graphic artist and art director, I thought it could use some improvement.

Brief rant: In general, I think that 90% of the images I see as "covers" for e-books and 'zines are truly horrid, and although I know they don't serve quite the same purpose as covers on hardcopy print volumes, I believe that the authors and publishers of these publications are not doing themselves any favors with - frankly - crap artwork. Generic stock photos, hastily-applied text with ill-chosen fonts, garish color choices... well, I sincerely believe that these "covers" are another reason that this bibliophile has no interest in buying any of these virtual publications. They turn me off.

Honestly, though, Jack's original cover wasn't as bad as all that, just lacking cohesion -- so, as I've been itching to knock out a magazine cover again, and I really dig the concept of Jack's 'zine, it seemed like it would be fun to do. Using the same art and copy from his original layout, I tried to give it an old Soldier of Fortune flavor, with a bit of my old tabloid newspaper "flair" (if you want to call it that). For the logo, I attempted something that evoked the Gold Eagle paperbacks (Able Team, Phoenix Force) design style.

Anyway, I spent about an hour, hour-and-a-half on it, and e-mailed it off to Jack this morning. He liked it, and I've agreed to design the covers for any future issues as well.

Check out Jack's blog, Post-Modern Pulps, and remember, you can buy the first issue of his new e-zine here: Hatchet Force Journal Issue #1


Grant said...

An action cover. A cover that takes no prisoners.

Jack Badelaire said...

Chris, your offer was a bolt of pure awesome from outta the clear blue sky. You knew where I was going with the cover, but sadly I didn't know how to get there.

"They" say that the cover of an eBook is everything when it comes to sales, so rest assured, when you're next in Boston the drinks are on me.

BISH said...

Nice work. I agree with you regarding most ebooks covers. I've struggled to give mine at least a little cohesion.

Christopher Mills said...

If I can ever help you out, Bish, just let me know. My rates are very reasonable (just ask Jack )!