Exercise 1: Writing a brief

For the first exercise I was asked to write a brief for a piece of work that an illustrator I have a connection with, and to choose a piece I admired for its conceptual or narrative dimension.

One of my favourite illustrators is Jock, I have followed his career with great enthusiasm. He is a comic book and concept artist and his style stands alone with distinction in the comic book world. I am the proud owner of 4 limited edition signed and numbered prints that have increased in value although I’d never part with them, they are more precious to me than some extra figures in my bank account.

The artwork I chose to “brief” was the cover for Detective Comics #880, a batman story that features a now infamous cover.

– What are you being asked to do?

The brief is to produce original cover artwork for Detective Comics #880 a batman story that features the Joker. We want to show Batman indirectly, this should mainly focus on the joker.

– Why the client wants the Illustration- what they want it to achieve.

The artwork will be used to attract a sale of a comic book and possible later reprints as graphic novels, it has to be eye catching, exciting and dramatic with a “cool factor” to entice new readers.

– Who is the target audience?

The target audience are children to adult collectors from age 11 upwards, the content has to portray and uphold DC comics company values and shouldn’t contain excessive horror or violence.

– Where it will be produced and at what size?

The final artwork will be reproduced at 116.83cm x 26.0 cm which is a standard comic book size, however we encourage you to work larger as if the artwork is successful and gains a cult status we may want to use it for other promotional materials such as oversized editions and posters and other merchandise.

– Whether there are any restrictions as to colours you can use.

A limited palette is preferred and shouldn’t be too rich in colour, muted tones should be used in keeping with the feel of the book.

– Wether it will be used as a stand alone or with text, are there to be spaces left for titles, copy etc.

There will need to be space for titles, logos and barcodes etc, template will be provided.

– When they want to see the initial ideas, the visuals and the finished artwork.

Please submit examples of intended direction, preferably no more than 3 initial ideas, these have to be descriptive but not necessarily detailed. Once approved a deadline will be set.

batman detective comicds #880
Jock’s cover for Batman Detective Comics #880

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