I can finally show you some work from a client project I’m particularly excited about! “Plug Ugly Ball: A Mobtown Tale of Bullies and Baseball” is a story of historical fiction by Maryland author John Everett. It covers the lives of a family over the latter half of the 19th century in the mean streets of Baltimore, sprawling across real historical events.
John wanted interior artwork for each of the main sections of the book that captured the feeling and style of the time, reminiscent of the woodcut newspaper illustrations of the period but depicting a specific scene from his story. And he also wanted a cover that would stand out on the bookshelves. In the end we decided for a more graphic approach in keeping with the posters and painted advertising signs of the period. Here’s the end result:
I’ll be posting another blog entry about some of the work that went into this cover, as well as that interior art, but for now I’ll just leave you with this:
Unlike most of my illustration work, this was created entirely digitally, although it started with pencil sketches and uses some scanned textures.
The fonts used in the cover design are from the Hand Shop family by Fontscafe — an awesome source for retro hand-drawn fonts!
The etching across the top depicts the Mt Vernon neighborhood where much of the story takes place. It’s from an 1862 etching published by E. Sachse & Co and can be seen uncropped and in vivid detail at the Library of Congress website (another awesome resource for history buffs!)
The book will be on the market by the end of the year, but for now can be pre-ordered at the publisher’s website, The Baltimore Bookworks, or at Amazon.com: Plug Ugly Ball: A Mobtown Tale of Bullies and Baseball
More to come soon!