It is the first book by Ben Tripp, who previously worked for Disney and thus is a bit of a dab hand with the ink pen - no pressure there then, ahem. Some of his internal illustrations were already done by the time I started work. You can see them below - they look digital, which if they are is quite marvellous - but the art director Seth fancied a typographic approach.
I did some little thumbnails as I had so many ideas - thumbnails are unusual for me as I normally go in with something a but more resolved - and Seth picked the one he liked.
It was then sketched out in proper detail and approved with a couple of minor changes but went to press almost exactly as I’d drawn it, in one take, ink a combination of dip pens and fineliners. My own pistol, mask and horse (I’m getting good at those considering I am not a horse fan) were substituted with Ben’s, since he did want some of his own input on the cover, but the cover is essentially unaltered.
In the process of researching I of course had to Image Search for ‘hanging’ and ‘lynching’, along with ‘pistols' and 'rearing horses' - not as ‘delete-history-scary’ as some of the things I’ve had to Image Search, mind...
There were plans for two versions of this - night and day as shown here on my final artwork - but I do not know whether these will make it to the shelves!
Here’s an excerpt from the book - which was finally published in red!