Friday, June 11, 2010

The Evolution of the Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies Cover

One day a year he is Santa Claus, but the other 364 days Dan Santat works as a children's book writer and commercial illustrator. He is also the creator of Disney's animated hit, The Replacements.

Dan graduated with honors from the Art Center, College of Design.

He lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, a cat, a bird, and one rabbit

For some time I had been looking for a project that would be just right for Dan's sensibilities. Crazy giant rabbits from outer space fit that bill.

From the beginning our ideas for the direction of the cover were in sync, vintage monster movie posters! Here are some that we looked at.

Here is some photo research of a giant bunny.

Dan's first sketch

Here is Dan's first sketch. A pretty good start. But something isn't right yet. This book is about crazy giant bunnies. I want to see that bunny big and looming. Kinda like this.

Much better! We tweaked the title a bit and things seem to be going along just fine. But of course we still have some meddling left to do.

After a cover meeting the group felt that the bunny might be too scary. I thought how can bunnies be scary?

Oh. That's how.

Solution shave down his teeth and lessen his angry brow.

Next step Dan then sent in the final art . Only those eye's need some Visine.

Aww moist eyes! With a couple of small tweaks our cover starts to come into focus.

Back cover art

Now it's time to place all that pesky type

Type placed!

About the book
When Joules and Kevin Rockman’s parents drop them off at Camp Whatsitooya on their way to an International Spamathon, the twins expect a summer of marshmallows, campfires, and canoe trips. What they do not expect is to defend the earth from an invasion of sugar-addicted, murderous, seven-foot-tall rabbits from another galaxy. Happily, the Rockman twins, veteran watchers of the Late, Late, Late Creepy Show for Insomniacs, are unusually well-prepared for dealing with monstrous beings from outer space. If only their fellow campers were so lucky.
Andrea Beaty, author of several very funny picture books and a mysterious novel, here reaches new heights of hilarity and verbal dexterity in a novel sure to become a camp—ba-dum-dum—classic.

About the author
Andrea Beaty was raised in a small southern Illinois town, where her family ran a tiny grocery store. When she wasn’t roaming the nearby fields with her brothers and sisters, she was reading Nancy Drew mysteries up in the branches of a maple tree. Andrea now lives outside Chicago with her family. She is the author of When Giants Come to Play, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, and Iggy Peck, Architect, illustrated by David Roberts. Andrea blogs about funny books for kids at Learn more about her at Dan Santat’s Guild of Geniuses (2004) won the Marion Vannett Ridgeway Award for best debut author/illustrator. He has since illustrated The Secret Life of Walter Kitty, by Barbara Jean Hicks; the Otto Undercover series, by Rhea Perlman; The Ghosts of Luckless Gulch, by Anne Isaacs; and Chicken Dance, by Tammi Sauer. He is also the creator of the Disney animated series The Replacements, and is at work on a graphic novel, The Domesticated Four. He lives with his wife and two children in Southern California. Visit him at


Maria T. Middleton said...

those are some scary critters!

Chad W. Beckerman said...

For more Scary bunnies,
should do it!

Chad W. Beckerman said...

If you're not into sketchy rabbits then perhaps you'll like disapproving rabbits.

Jana said...

I always love your evolution of a cover posts. My son cried from the Easter Bunny also--not just cried, shrieked!

Chad W. Beckerman said...

Thanks Jana! Glad you like them.

Chad W. Beckerman said...

I'm working on another one right now.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

This is great. Such a fabulous cover.

Mai Kemble said...

hee heee hee, this is so rad!

is that giant bunny real?!?!?

Madigan Mirza said...

Love it! I liked the bunny with red eyes though... made him look even more insane.