Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week, we welcome art droid extraordinaire, Leigh Gallagher for the cover of 2000 AD Prog 2266 – out now!

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With writer Ian Edginton, Gallagher’s responsible for the new series of Kingmaker, Falls The Shadow, where their series, that began as something along the lines of ‘aliens invade Middle-Earth,’ has gone in a dramatic new direction, with Ichnar the Wraith King returned and the threat against the Nine Kingdoms is now worse than ever. Against him, it’s Crixus the Orc and Princess Yarrow… the odds are not great.

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For the cover, we get a classic looking Gallagher image, the iconic Crixus shot – Now… over to Leigh for the lowdown on bringing the cover together…

LEIGH GALLAGHER: Ok, so Tharg tasked me with a cover based on this episode 5 page of Crixus alone, facing the alien army. THANKFULLY, just Crixus alone with no background, as right now I still have a bunch of episodes to finish with it out in shops!

I did a pencil rough and scanned it in to Clip Studio, making it easier to work on another layer to figure out the cloak movement.

Damn, that’s some blade! (Add your own chopper gag)
Leigh Gallgher’s two pencil roughs – with and without cloak

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With it being a full figure image, I didn’t know how they wanted to crop it, so I just drew the full cloak blowing in the wind to give them more options.

Usually I ink by hand, but with my schedule so crazy I inked on my HUION drawing monitor. As you can see I’ve included all the stages from flats, shading, and adding his mystical glowing armour.

Just in case, I gave Tharg two final versions: one clean and one battle damaged, covered in alien blood.

Right, bugger off now and let me finish this story for you!

Adding the inks – Crixus knows how to style it out
Adding the flats
And the final cover image – adding a certain twinkle to Crixus
And because he can – Gallagher added a little battle damage and loads of alien blood.

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Okay then, buggering off right now!

As Leigh heads back to the drawing table, we’ll send our thanks to him for taking time out and sending us all those great images for his cover. Kingmaker: Falls The Shadow continues each week in the pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest and Prog 2266 is out on Wednesday 26 January – get it from wherever Thrill-Power is sold, including the 2000 AD web shop.

If you want more from both Leigh Gallagher and Ian Edginton talking Kingmaker, be sure to take a look at our interview with them from 2019.

And finally, because Leigh’s a grand bloke, he also sent along a page from the episode from Prog 2266 with Crixus doing his thing… complete with cape flowing, sparkles going, and a damn big blade…