New MX cover art – Shadows of the Past

The Asheville Mountain Xpress paper contacted me to do another cover illustration. This time, not a humorous, cartoon approach, but something to reflect the story inside about the many monuments, and streets in the city named after, or memorializing figures from the city’s confederate past.

This was the cover that ended up being published for that issue:

Here is the finished art sent to the paper before the cover text was added and adjustments made by the staff graphics department:
  Shown below, the sketches and roughs I went through in coming up with a concept to meet the needs of the story’s author. He wanted something to show the history that went on around the monument in question (The Vance Monument) and allude to the other historical markers of street names, etc.

Maybe a silhouette of a modern youth (a desire to use children reflecting upon the monument(s) and their meaning was one element suggested to be needed) observing the Vance monument and a history of transportation was considered.

Adding confederate flags to one side (the past) and modern skyscraper to the present side was another idea.

Also considered were confederate and US flags on either side and just mountains and old and modern cityscapes.
Ultimately, we decided to go with the idea of two kids, one black, one white and I had the idea to not even show the actual monument, but rather the kids looking up at it and the shadow of it looming large (they used my suggested title of “Shadows of the Past” too).

There were discussions about why only boys were shown, so I added girls from each race as well and that was the combination they ultimately went with.

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