Robin Smith: Cover Layouts vol. 1 – 2 (pkgd. w/ JD Meg #448) – Robin Smith

4 out of 5

The creative process is always interesting to see, in any medium. While 2000 AD is actually pretty generous with behind the scenes info if you dig around online, in print I’m not sure how much there is. And getting something in print for free? 

Sure, can’t knock it. I mean, I will, slightly: this floppy collection of cover roughs by Robin Smith and their final versions from various artists – Ron Smith, Bolland, Steve Dillon, etc. – is incredibly fascinating in the first place, getting to see how much Robin manages to capture with his sketchy lines and notes, and when and how artists stray from his designs. But – as that slight knock – perhaps we could ask for a bit more context here and there, even some analysis regarding those changes. This does start to come in moreso in volume 2: more notes that expose where Robin was aware of how coloring and camera angles may change in the final product, and that’s stuff is endlessly fascinating to see. Since I assume these two volumes were already planned (and the second one wasn’t tweaked based on forum feedback to the first), perhaps there’s a chronological component there that would’ve been even more worth at least a page of analysis. 

Then again… free