Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Evolution of The Unknowns cover

About the book, THE UNKNOWNS.

In a trailer park called Adjacent, next to the Folsom Energy Plant, people have started to vanish, and no one seems to care. At first Lady Di and her best friend, Tom Jones, barely notice the disappearances—until their beloved math tutor, Mrs. Clarke, is abducted, too. Mrs. Clarke has left them clues in the form of math equations that lead them all over the trailer park, through hidden tunnels under “Mount Trashmore,” and into the Folsom Energy Plant itself, where Lady Di and Tom Jones and a gang of other misfits uncover the sordid truth about what’s really happening there.

Benedict's sketches from 1st pass Manuscript.

Sketch I made before book was acquired to help acquire the book.

I had been a fan of Joshua Middleton's work for sometime and as luck would have it he was perfect for this unknown. Here is Josh's first sketch showing a wraparound jacket.

Only one problem. As beautiful as the image was when you separated out just the front cover. It didn't hold up. So in hopes of saving the image I reworked the composition. So that the front cover would work more effectively with the wraparound idea.

To make the cover have a bit of a science fiction, mystery edge I took Benedict's geometric sketches from the interior and add them floating on the jacket to add another layer of visual interest.

After a couple of revisions Josh delivered a color final.

But the colors where to vibrant which lessened the mystery angle of the image.
Thus darken the composition to help highlight the key action to help the viewer.

Next step I started working up type samples. All along keeping in mind,
"how do you make a math story visually interesting." Also at this stage the title changed

However we ran into a speed bum. The cover wasn't working as well as it needed to for the book. Again the mystery angle. With the current cover it wasn't working as we wanted it to. The cover was to character driven for what the story was asking for. So we quickly went back to the drawing board and re worked the idea. Here you my sketch revision. Which is totally not a Jame Bond influence . . . uh yes it is.

On last thing just to make sure the mystery angle was working. Marketing placed the text " A Mystery" on the cover. Which turned out nicely.

Next and final step place the cover copy in place. I like to place text in a way that fits into the world of the art. Complementing rather than intruding.

Bonus Math Problem!

Jonathan Beckerman NEW site

My brother just updated his photography website. He is an LA based fashion and book cover photographer. He and I have worked on numerous book covers together.
For example,
Struts & Frets,
The Girls,
Troy High,
Such a Pretty Face,
My Life in Pink & Green,
Anahita's Woven Riddle,
Car Trouble,
Rock Tease,
Hell Phone and
Breaktime to name a few.

Note: Give it a moment to load we are working on the loading time issue. Thanks

NERDS Site launched!


Thursday, May 28, 2009


The banners are up at the Jacob Javits center here in New York. They display our new logo and the new slogan for the upcoming WIMPY KID 4 book due out in October 2009. "BRACE YOURSELF" The title will be revealed soon.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

DAWGER features John Hendrix and Adam McCauley!

Adam McCauley ( June and August )

Here’s John Hendrix’s article ( John Brown )


Illustrator Adam McCauley put together this great trailer for his and Vivian Walsh's upcoming Fall 2009 picture book JUNE AND AUGUST. Check it out!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009



With Rain from takcom™ on Vimeo.

Track by aus from the album Curveland.

Video by Takcom

Thanks Erik Price at

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Nikki McClure works in her garden drawing from life.
Here she is working on the cover sketch for her next book
MAMA, IS IT SUMMER YET? ( Coming in Spring 2010)