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!

2000 AD Prog 2163 is out now, containing the second part of Feral & Foe, the brand-new strip from Dan Abnett and Richard Elson (with colours by Joe Elson). And to kick off 2020, everyone’s newest favourite double act are up to their necks in trouble and coming at it feet-first on Richard Elson’s cover…

Kicking off 2020 in style with Feral & Foe!

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure (although seriously, Prog 2162 was out weeks ago – c’mon folks!), Feral & Foe tells the tale of two minions of the Malign Lord, defeated some five years past. Just what the hell do evil minions do when there’s no evil master around anymore? In Feral & Foe, the Necromancer Bode and Warrior Wrath are about to find out. 

We asked series artist Richard Elson for the details of putting this latest cover together and, as is so often the case, Tharg (through his Earthly representative, Matt Smith) had some ideas…

Matt asked for a character cover to establish the protagonists of our new strip Feral & Foe. Dan and I are still getting to know Wrath and Bode ourselves, so I’m sure they will evolve a bit from where they are now if we are fortunate enough to be able to continue the adventures of this odd pair.

Tharg studied carefully and then used the old Betelgeusian method of eeny, meeny, miney, zarjaz to pick the perfect cover

After the roughs were submitted, I drew up a full size sketch in Photoshop before going to inks, also digital. Although I think it’s pretty cool, I’m not sure giving Wrath chains for hair was the smartest idea as they are proving to be a bit of a nightmare to draw.

Wrath does her chain toss, checks her nails, baby how ya doin? Kicking ass.

Joe and I were going for a quite gloomy, heavy, oppressive look to the colours in the early issues to establish the hostility of this environment to people like Wrath and Bode, who, having lost the war, now find themselves having to find their way through a world that really doesn’t want them in it. 

For the cover I gave Bode’s colour scheme a bit more saturation to try and make the image more engaging to the casual observer. Despite the grimness of their circumstances I think Dan is managing to find a nice thread of humour, both dark and light, in Feral & Foe so I think we have a range of moods to dip into if we get any further covers.

Harry Potter’s really let himself go…

Bode’s spells were drawn on a separate layer and added after the rest of the image was coloured.

Of course, now that I see the finished cover in print, all I can see is the parts of it I would change if I had the chance. 🙂

Bode firing magical blanks – probably just nerves; after all, it is his first time on the cover.
Adding the spell layer – magical Viagra
Abracadabra – ready for action!

And there it is, a magical looking cover from Richard Elson, with Wrath & Bode ready to give you a good seeing to!

Thanks to Richard for sharing those with us. And of course, 2000 AD Prog 2163 is on the stands from today!