This is How You Create the Cover to The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza is pleased to present the adorable cover art for The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza, a new graphic novel for the young’uns by James Kochalka. available March 25th 2014 from First Second! Here is the official summary:

The Glorkian Warrior isn’t the brightest bulb in the box, so it’s good he’s got his trusty talking backpack to advise him as they set out on a perilous journey to deliver a pizza. The pizza’s got clams and peanut butter on it, so it’s not clear who’s going to want it, but deliver it they will. With bright, lively illustrations and classic prat-falls, this graphic novel is 112 pages of super icky gross-out humor and ludicrously bad decisions—a winner, in other words.

So how do you illustrate a pizza-delivering alien in a way that gets the point across? Below the cut, James shares his thoughts on the process of designing the cover, including several preliminary sketches for alternate images.


Cover Idea #1

Glorkian Alternate Cover

This is a scene from the book, where the alien invaders try to steal The Glorkian Warrior’s pizza with a tractor beam. It made sense to try out a few scenes from the book as possible covers. If you look close you can see the Glorkian Warrior in several different poses that I erased before settling on this one where it looks like he’s running in place.

Cover Idea #2

Glorkian Alternate Cover

Covers usually look good with a big cartoon character right in the center. So I tried it. But I’ve used the same basic idea on multiple other books… and I knew I could do better.

Cover Idea #3

Glorkian Alternate Cover

I think we all liked this one. I remember the editor laughed out loud because she thought that it looked like the Glorkian Warrior was about to be punched in the crotch. We weren’t so sure we wanted a groin punch on the cover.

Cover Idea #4

Glorkian Alternate Cover

Trying to get more “action” into the cover. There’s plenty of action in this one, but it’s kind of a jumbled mess and too much detail is squished into the left-hand side of the image.

Cover Idea #5

Glorkian Alternate Cover

I love this one, because it looks so menacing. But readers might not guess that the book is funny. It’s too serious, maybe?

Cover Idea #5b

Glorkian Alternate Cover

On the computer I quick changed the Glorkian Warrior’s expression to make him look happier. It kinda ruined the whole effect of the cover.

Cover Idea #6

Glorkian Alternate Cover

Leaping into the air seemed like a good idea, but this cover is still lacking something special. The magic is not happening.

Cover Idea #7

Glorkian Alternate Cover

The Glorkian Warrior is driving his Glorkian Super Car… maybe off a cliff? This is an over-dramatized version of the car crash from the book. It looks cool, but the pizza seems like just an afterthought in this drawing, and I wanted the pizza itself to be more dramatically presented.

Cover Idea #8

Glorkian Alternate Cover

Here the Glorkian Warrior encounters The Magic Robot from a scene near the end of the book.

Cover Idea #9

Glorkian Alternate Cover

I liked this one because it features the alien landscape more than some of the others. Here Glorkian Warrior reaches the end of his quest as he approaches the fortress of The Magic Robot.

Cover Idea #10

Glorkian Alternate Cover


Just for kicks, I whipped off this one of the Glorkian Warrior kicking the pizza. It made me laugh out loud, but I figured it was way too stupid to be the cover of the actual book.

Cover Idea #11

Glorkian Alternate Cover

This is basically another variation of cover idea #5. I really wanted to show the Glorkian Warrior fighting Gonk in his battle suit, because it seemed action packed! So I kept trying to find the best way to present it.

Cover Idea #12

Glorkian Alternate Cover

I like this one a lot. I based it loosely on the kind of covers that used run on the covers of fantasy books like Conan and Gor.

And the winner is…

Glorkian Cover Final

Of course the silliest cover is the best. It perfectly sums up the spirit of the book. And with some refinement in the design it’s as dramatic as any of the other action-style covers.


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