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Behind the Book Scenes: The Making of the Cover for THE GOOD FOR NOTHINGS

Do you want to know how artist Markia Jenai so perfectly captured the characters and mood for The Good For Nothings cover? So did we! Luckily for us, she shared her process with art director Liz D. Here's their conversation:

What do you think about when you're thumbnailing, and how do you choose what to develop as sketches?

When it comes to deciding what to sketch it really comes down to the story itself for me. Every story out there has something at its core which sums up the whole experience of the book. Some are about the adventuring aspect of the tale, others the romance, and some comedy. What's tricky is when these stories are multiple genres in one. So you really have to pay attention to find what makes that story unique to capture it in a drawing.

When I was reading through the draft what really jumped out to me were the personalities of the main cast. How they complimented and contrasted each other but most importantly how hilarious they were. This was a classic rag-tag group feel and I loved that.

So as I sketch things out I tried to capture who each character was in a snapshot.

tgfn creation 1

How do you conceptualize the characters? How do you go from the written description to visualizing them?

I started with a rough idea of what popped into my head when reading the description laid out for me and then I mixed it with what I envisioned as I read through the story. Sometimes, you need to read how these characters act and interact to really understand them. For example, I had no idea Anders had hair until I read him pushing it back! He was just a big lizard man in my head until that point! Or how thick Cora’s hair was until she tied it into a large bun (which I can personally relate to as a fellow thick curly haired girl).

Next was really pushing their personalities. There’s a great scene where they all meet and you get a great idea of who they are. I think their meeting is my fave part to be honest. Such a good scene.

I wanted to capture Cora’s snark, Wren’s friendly nature, Anders’s imposing vibe, and Elio’s adorableness all in their drawings.

tgfn creation 2

Working in grayscale allows me to just focus on personalities and drawing without being distracted by details and colors! Once this all fleshed out I can move to bringing them alive with the colors!

I knew Danielle Banas really loved Spider-Man so I did my best to push that graphic novel feel just to add some of the author’s taste to the illustrations too!


I can’t wait for the book to come out!

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