I don't think I was game enough to ask Lesley if she might be interested in drawing the cover of the Next Issue of Oi Oi Oi! until Melbourne's Supanova. But luckily for me (and Oi Oi Oi!'s Readers), Leslie agreed even though she only had a proof copy of the First Issue to flick through. Here's a wander through the creative process...
This is what I wrote to Lesley to let her know what I was looking for at the time: "...something with a touch of Summer approaching might be useful. [A cover that] may not appear at first glance as a comic-book cover; but rather as a beautiful piece of ART." (My emphasis at the time.) I then gave Lesley a couple of ideas...
"The sun setting by the beach, tide just gently lapping, maybe someone surfing, people playing, and someone (maybe a couple) under a jetty reading a copy of Oi Oi Oi! without a care in the world. OR An apartment building, or a home, perhaps someone (or people individually) reading (perhaps a copy of Oi Oi Oi!) in each apartment, windows open to keep cool, maybe with the TV on but ignored, perhaps with an ironing board with the ironing forgotten, with the sun going down in the background, another day done...."
From then on, there was little I needed to do to guide Lesley, and it was a joy to see the progress made in the art over the coming weeks. Few modifications were needed, although some were made.... This picture (at the left) is what Lesley calls "VERY rough", although it clearly gave me an idea of the direction she was taking (and one I was most happy with).
The 'modifications' were superficial things really. It was my wife Carlene who suggested some of the 'changes' that I relayed to Lesley. Given the position of the cat, there was a likelihood she would get lost in the logo, and she adds an interest in the illustration. And with the issue being all female artists/cartoonists, the suggestion was made that all the characters in the cover could be female, with modern styles: piercings, tattoos and girls' washing on the line. Carlene also suggested "a small stray dog wandering along the front of the property"...
Lesley wrote back: "I love the idea about making them all girls to relate to the interior theme. It would be good to make them all ethnicities/ages and walks of life -- so there will be definitely some hippies/tattoo type people in there. The washing is already girls (...swimming costumes and beach towels) [and] happy to add the dog too...."
Below is the final magnificent work all complete without logo and price tag. It was the realisation that the logo and prince tag "spoiled" the end result which lead to another idea I had for the following issue, which I shall talk about another day...!
Look out for Oi Oi Oi! Issue Two -- out on most Australian newsagent's shelves tomorrow! Share it with someone you love! Anyone interested in Lesley working for you? Drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All Illustrations used on this page are Copyright Lesley Vamos. Thank you for allowing me to use them, Lesley.