It was an amazing experience to work with the lovely and talented Dallas Graham on his book Nikolas and the Pantheon Trials and it was an especially great treat to work alongside designer/typographer extraordinaire Spencer Charles. Nikolas, Night Thief is the YA, fantasy book series about the mythical, secretive origins of the boy-thief who will become known as Santa Claus. This 1st book of the series has now been released at the strike of midnight of St. Nikolas’ Day (Dec 6th) and you can find the paperback book or kindle version on Amazon. Please spread the word! We’d love to carry on this series and see what other magical gods and creatures our lad comes across. I also want to draw more mischievous magical creatures.
Just look at the amazing detail and stunning typography by Spencer Charles!
It was such a compliment to be referred to this project by designer Spencer Charles. I’ve admired his work for so long so it was a wonderful treat to get to collaborate with him and writer Dallas Graham. Dallas’ story weaves together so many world myths in such an interesting way it was amazing subject matter to work with. It was a lot of fun chatting about the ideas for the book and great to glance through the Pinterest page full of inspiration that we all collected. We seemed to gravitate towards a “woodcut” look and wanting the art and design to feel exciting and like Dallas said, “a book that looks like something you’d find on your grandparent’s bookshelf—something they may have read many, many years ago.” Oh, and yes we can’t forget Dallas’ one request: “It can’t look like any young adult novel cover now. We need the cover to be a work of art, in and of itself.” I think we hit the nail on the post with this one.
Here are some of my pencil roughs for the front cover. I wanted to show the young fisherman Nikolas and capture the gods he will take his journey with and possibly show the Evergreen tree which is a powerful symbol in the book. I’m glad we settled on the wolf right up front though.
The pencil layout for the possible front and back artwork:
Some of my “faux-woodcut” ink process for Nikolas and his furry companion. It was a really great that Dallas trusted me to try something a little different with this whole look. I’m so happy with how it turned out and the experience of working with these two guys was amazing. Really looking forward to the next books!
The book opening with author Dallas Graham! Wish I could have been there.
Pick up the book or Kindle now. I’m sure Dallas would love your support and I know Spencer and I want to get a chance to design more beautiful book covers together. Excited to see where Nikolas’ adventure will take him!