Drop cap for “Wanderers” by Chuck Wendig

Drop cap for “Wanderers” by Chuck Wendig - student project

Drop cap for “Wanderers” by Chuck Wendig - image 1 - student projectUnfortunately I made a cardinal error by using a book that hasn’t been released yet - I read an ARC (advance reader’s copy) and so I can’t really talk much about the contents of the book. Here’s the blurb from the web: 

A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. From the mind of Chuck Wendig comes an astonishing tapestry of humanity that Harlan Coben calls “a suspenseful, twisty, satisfying, surprising, thought-provoking epic.”

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them—and an ultraviolent milita threatens to exterminate them—the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart—or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.”

...so at least you can see where the bullets came from. Talking about anything else in the pic would basically be “spoilers” (though to be fair, you understand it within the first few pages). So I’m afraid I won’t be sharing my “brainstorming” list.

I will say that I found it really helpful to start with the skeleton of the letter, and the way that the symmetry between the legs of the W could suggest conflict, or people coming head-to-head. I also struggled with the “too literal” interpretations that I think is common. Originally the bird image was going to be seen from the side, but it was a sudden inspiration to realize that from above a bird in flight could suggest a “W”. Much reliance on procreate’s “Mirror” effect for creating the final shape.

After that, it was mainly struggling with trying to make it NOT imitate the Star Wars Rebel Alliance logo. I think I mostly succeeded with that, both by adding in the eyes and accenting the feathers and fade-to-grey at the bottom. I thought about making the bullets more realistic, but somehow it seemed more fitting to make them just sketches (and yes, I got a little lazy in my rush to get the assignment done in time - they are cut and pasted over and over from an initial sketch).