There have been eight Cheerleaders comics but only three of them feature covers with the girls wearing their uniforms: Cheerleaders 1, 7, and 8. In fact, it’s probably only in Cheerleaders 8 where it’s obvious. And so in designing the Cheerleaders 9 cover I decided that no mater what, the cover girls would be dressed (or partially undressed) to reflect their extra-curricular activity.
Making a cover is a lot of work and calls on a bevy of artistic skills. It’s not as easy as thinking of a great pose, drawing it, then stamping a title and author over it (though I admit that’s how I used to do it with DOFantasy some years ago.). All these separate elements have to gel to present an image where the title and the text are part of an integrated whole. And so visual elements like colors, composition, text fonts, tonality, etc. have to be designed to create that final cohesive image.
My first color draft was a dark cover with harsh shadows but I wasn’t very happy with the result. I tried the opposite route and thought it was a big improvement. You could see the figures better and the shadows was not competing with the intricate details of each girl on the drawing.
On the face of it, the bright, full-color drawing is what might look the best on a cover. But having added the title and the other text over it, I thought the cover became very “noisy”. There were too many things on the page trying to grab the viewer’s attention at the same time. And so after some brain-storming with my wife (who not only loves my art, but has a critical eye), I ended up with this final cover.
I realize not everyone will like my final choice but I’m happy that it achieves the balance I was looking for. I know a few people who are adamant that a BDSM comic cover should always be dark. Whichever version you prefer, you can always look at the one you like here.