Back-up Vocal~ After much banter with the voices in my own head and more than a few choice words on the subject from Manny, we finally arrive at the cover art for the second DBS 3© album. As I have previously discussed, my natural inclination would have been to lean towards more traditional visuals- dragons, floating rocks, and the like. Ultimately a different direction proved crucial and appropriate. So, I opted instead to look towards the covers of Arrakeen “Patchwork” (alas, the band has no website-I’m currently trying to track down the artist to credit and link him here) and what for me is the eternal classic, IRIS “Crossing The Desert”. The artwork Danny Flynn produced for IRIS still captivates me well over 2 decades later. I am in no way pretentious enough to claim that I got within even 20,000 country miles of the imagery and talents found on these Prog Rock gems. Though if I may be honest, I do like the gradient I managed to cobble together for the sky.

As the first to admit to my extraordinarily limited artistic skills, the prospect of crafting a truly complex display that would complement the album’s theme felt justifiably unattainable. I’m no Roger Dean. Additionally, Manny had no quarrels whatsoever when it came to chiming in with his thoughts on my attempts. At the end of the day, I always remember the advice of my Cartooning Sensei, Barry Linck. He taught me to quit fighting my own style and embrace it. Wise words for anyone looking to pursue the paths towards any medium in the creative realms. I know that most anything I craft will have an element of cheese to it and now, that’s ok. Longtime readers will know I’m a cheesy kinda guy. Once I made peace with that element of my personal center, what we know as Mannyacs began revealing itself. There is a great deal more I could say on the larger picture of my journey to getting my little kingdom to where it is now. Bottom line, once I welcomed the contributions I can bring to what my characters want, I found acres upon acres upon acres of room to move waiting for me. That leads us back to the album cover for “Vahalla Fandango” (and a cheesier title I cannot imagine). It was crucial to employ props to set the tone, without relying on cliches to do the heavy lifting for me. So, I needed to strike a balance between Viking ornaments and Disco pieces. Plus, because it would only be one Panel, the layout was key. All the selected ingredients had to sit in the frame, in harmony together. When it was all said and done, Manny and I were both happy with the results. Finally, it felt right to present the Comic itself in a print ad format, the same way I did for the debut album cover in Comic #40. That particular structure offers the room to display the album cover, complemented with “Buyer Beware” caliber commentary from a more rational, societal voice. Inside and outside perspectives both get their $0.02 in…..monies Manny would prefer to see spent on the second, earth-shattering DBS 3© album.