What would you do if you had to investigate a murder
you would gladly have committed yourself?
In the course of the concept, design, and creation of the book trailer, Mike produced a vast amount of art related to In Retrospect. These pages serve as an archive for readers interested in that art and in Mike's process.
Early Concept and Design
Ellen, in the throes of developing publicity for IR, responded with alarming speed. Before the day was out, Mike had started work on the all-important Vessel--the time machine that is at the center of the book. Here are his first images:
This is not the Real Cover. This is a placeholder cover that Ellen designed and Mike made beautiful, just because all books, even books in pre-press, need to have a cover. Behind the scenes, Five Star's terrifc graphics team is working on the Real Cover. When it is finished, we'll use it!
The placeholder cover is pretty cool, however, as it provides the first glimpse of the Vessel, the time machine that features prominently in the book. In the Early Artwork section, you can see how Mike created the cover based on descriptions fromthe book. Also on the cover is "Residuum* Earth:"
"Though half the Earth had been destroyed eight hundred years ago by the insanity of their forebears; though the coasts had been redrawn and the climate changed, this land called by the ancients Anatolia, then Asia Minor, then Turkey, had survived, flourished, and—eventually—regained its plenitude."
Click on the placeholder cover to see how Mike developed Ellen's concept of the Vessel.
*residuum: That which is left when other parts have been taken away.
A key locale in In Retrospect is the Priory, and the most important place inthe Priory is the Southeast tower, which contains Omari Zane's study—the murder scene. As Mike does his preliminary concept art for the trailer, the first thing he has tackled is the tower.
"Its four square towers stood tall, unscathed and enduring. The great silver dome in the north wing mirrored the sky above as if nothing had changed. Indeed, once the ruins of the Conservatory had disappeared behind the knoll, the only reminder of the war was the red and black flag fluttering above the portico where before had flown the green and white."
This computer-generated graphic is the result of Mike's reading of the text and one back-and-forth emailing between Ellen and Mike for clarification. Click on the graphic to see the complete sequence of drawings.