Alex Ronald delivers the presents with the festive Prog!

Time once more for a glimpse behind the curtain with the Ronald art droid giving us the details of what it took to make Prog 2162 fabulously festive! It’s time to Drokk The Halls With Loads Of Thrill-Power… welcome to 2000 AD Covers Uncovered!

The final Prog of the year hits the stands on 18 December, with a tinsel packed cover courtesy of Alex Ronald. And it all started with Tharg’s Earthly representative, Matt Smith suggesting a very Christmassy cover… over to Alex for the details…

‘A Tharg cover for the Xmas prog with the mighty one and the droids, Xmas tree, decorations, all that kind of thing’

That was the brief from Matt Smith. I started in June, six months in advance. It was weird doing Christmas at the height of summer but on the plus side, a six-month deadline was a bit of a luxury.

With it being a festive cover I decided early on I wanted something very nostalgic, harking back to the Tharg stories of the early 80s, so I sourced some of the classic droids from that period to fill the cover.

As with most of my covers, I mock up some 3D to help with composition. I already had a basic Tharg model which I could repose but I needed to scratch build AALN1, the McMahon droid and Burt. These were made very ëquick and roughí using a combination of Z-Brush and Maya.

The Galaxy’s Greatest Editor – all he needs is a pair of Reindeer antlers to make it perfect

It’s work, work, work for the Elf-Droids this time of year

Once I’d arranged the figures and chosen a good camera angle, I screen grabbed the image and then imported it to photoshop to sketch over and throw down some basic colours.

Simply having a Zarjaz Christmastime

The rough colour cover was sent off to Matt and he approved the image to go forward to final art.

Tharg drops his large sack – have you been naughty or nice this year?

As you’ll see there’s minor changes between the rough and final. The camera angle is slightly lower to make it less flat and have slightly more upward perspective. The Thrill sucker is holding a banner instead of lights now too. I changed this to try and add in some movement to an otherwise static image. Kindly, Matt allowed me the indulgence if Christmassy-fying the logo.

Hope the readers like it and wishing them all a great Christmas!

Thanks to Alex for talking to us about putting together that Ghafflebette cover – you can find Prog 2162 on the stands from 18 December – perfect for stuffing anyone’s stocking!

Splundig vur Thrigg Earthlets and we’ll be back for more zarjaz 2000 AD Covers Uncovered in the New Year! Have a Scrotnig Christmas one and all!