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!

Bowels bothering you? Feeling a little dicky down in the tummy? Well, you’re in luck, because 2000 AD Prog 2275 sees the return of The Intestinauts in The Bowel Impactors by the abdominally afflicted Arthur Wyatt and the positively pustulant Pye Parr.

So, hold onto your lunch, here’s Pye Parr to talk you through the cover to Prog 2275…

PYE PARR: I thought that panel (1a) from page 1 of the story might make a cool cover, and I liked the jarring effect of having something massive and upside down on the cover, so I expanded on it and sent Tharg the thumbnail. I was also keen to do something more simple than normal – less cluttered with background crap and focused on the character silhouettes.

Taking this from episode 1…
… and turning it into this as a proto-cover
Or… Smile! – At least you’re not dropping into doo-doo… oh, wait, that’s the whole point of the strip, isn’t it?

I almost always start in pencil, even if I finish digitally. The drawings end up tighter, which helps me with the details, even if they’re not quite as perfectly put together (wonky circles and wobbly straight lines) as they’d be if I did them on the computer.

I also tend to waft over details with a fat brush when sketching digitally, which is lovely and suggestive but doesn’t help when I come to do the proper linework, as there’s not enough information to work with! Plus an actual drawing you can look at and hold is just a satisfying thing to have.

Wonky circles and wobbly straight lines – Pencils all done

Placement test and final linework time now. I scanned the pencils and added some pink in the background to put Tharg’s mind at ease – his one bit of feedback after seeing the art was something like ‘please don’t cover the Prog in hideous brown diarrhea’. Lurid meaty pink it is!

After scanning I dropped the art into a cover template to check the fit and allowed enough room for the other design stuff. 

The final linework was done in Clip Studio Paint. When doing covers I always add more bleed than normal to give me some wiggle room when designing the text (plus I have a habit of not giving stuff enough room to breathe, and it means I can zoom out later on when I notice!)

Decisions decisions – the hideous brown diarrhea or the lurid meaty pink?

Next it’s on to colours, again in clip studio paint. I made an Illustrator file with all the Intestinaut name badges/decals etc in, so they’re pasted from that at the end.

The final cover, colours and all – it’s almost tasteful!

And finally… final design time. Apart from adding in the cover lines, the main change I made from the mockup was to lose the second leg over the 2000ad logo – I liked the extra line of text at the top and it made that unreadable. i also zoomed out a tiny bit and moved the art up in the frame to minimise as many awkward interactions between the text and the objects as possible. All done!

Now to get on with finishing the colours on the last two parts before the inevitable Rigelian Hotshot arrives… 

Rather than letting Pye face the wrath of Tharg (and that’s some nasty wrath he’s got), we figured it was time to let him get back to the drawing board, pop some more ant-acids to combat the nausea and get right on with filling the pages with the incredible intestinal warriors!

Thank you to Pye for taking the time to chat and you can find Pye Parr’s particularly putrid cover as well as the first episode of The Intestinauts: The Bowel Impactors on the shelves and in the 2000 AD web shop with 2000 AD Prog 2275 from 30 March!