Givin’ It All He’s Got

Every now and then, the THR newsletter graphics feel like the bright spot of a particular week, because they’re something that I don’t have to necessarily spend a lot of time working on, or preparing for: I get my marching orders and I go do it. It’s a relief, it’s a break from the norm — and it’s something that, when I look back for these posts, I realize that I occasionally don’t even remember that some of them exist, despite timestamps showing that they do. The first graphic below? I guess I did that? Maybe?

This is an unfinished graphic for a story that ended up not coming together in time for the newsletter…

No joke; the headline rewrite on this might be my favorite pun that we’ve done in all of the newsletters to date, even though the actual story ended up not running at all…

From A to B

In a THR newsletter update: We returned after the Labor Day break — which means just one week’s worth of newsletter graphics — with a surprisingly short newsletter, which required just two graphics, only one of which I actually dig. Somewhat frustrating, but what can be done? (I was in a strangely 45 degree line mood this particular week, in case you can’t tell.)

Has Come Unstuck In Time

The very first of the THR newsletter graphics created for the site’s new back-end system — which ultimately didn’t make that much of a difference for me, despite what everyone expected ahead of time. They stayed the same size, and we approached the process the same as we ever had; it turned out to be much ado (and much a-stress) about nothing, which is likely better than the alternative.

An Image Image Problem

A different take on the idea of sharing a THR graphic, for once; this wasn’t done for the newsletter, but for an Image Comics story for the site proper. There’s a rule at THR that you can’t just post images of a corporate logo to accompany a story, which makes a reasonable amount of sense until you have to find an illustration for a story where the only thing that makes sense is the corporate logo.

In this particular case, it was a story about changes at Image Comics’ sales department, which… isn’t really about a specific comic or anything else with a visual hook, per se, but about a company. So, company logo, right?!? Or some kind of graphic to encompass Image as a publisher. The only problem being, that’s not something that really exists — indeed, given Image’s ethos, the idea of one image (no pun intended) that sums up Image Comics is almost antithetical to the publisher’s operating theory. So, what to do?

I made something I thought skirted the rules enough, merging pictures from three different titles that felt “Image Comics,” but also big enough for the casual reader to get — in this case, the new Brubaker/Phillips title, Reckless; Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga; and Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s The Walking Dead. Each one put into a color filter to let them be differentiated, but also play well together. Oh, and then there’s the Image Comics logo, because I needed the damn logo in there.

The graphic was rejected, because it was seen as being a corporate logo. In the end, we went with cover art from the first issue of Bitter Root, an Image Comics title that I chose more or less because, fuck it; I’m going to pick a book that I liked.

I still liked the graphic, though, so I rescued it and posted it here. Look, if I can’t use this site for something like that, what’s the point…?

Something Came Along, Secrets of Surprise

A post of two separate THR newsletter weeks, this one. I mean, that’s almost always true, but in this case, it’s more true than usual because the two weeks were so different — for the first, there were a bunch of makeovers for a variety of reasons (“Tomorrow Never Dies” and “The Amazing Amy” were for the same story, for example), but the following week, not one image got reworked. Did we just all get ourselves together for once, or was it just a happy coincidence? I wish I knew.

And As They Call You To The Eye of the Storm

Another collection of THR newsletter graphics, with lots more revisions — this seems to be part of the process now, as ideas are thrown out and executed before getting revised into something else entirely. Sometimes it’s just a headline change, others, it’s a complete do-over for any number of reasons… including, this time, “that kid looks too scary.”

A Million Dead-End Streets And

As we head into the all-too-hot height of summer, here are some graphics from the THR newsletter that include a whole bunch of alternate headlines because, man — everyone working from home means minds are changed a bunch, it seems.


The above graphic I hated so much, I spent half an hour the next morning drawing monsters so I could do something better. This is why I don’t try and come up with a graphic at the tail-end of a day when I’m mentally exhausted. Will I remember this lesson in the future? Of course not.

After handing this in, we discovered that the story it was accompanying wasn’t focusing on the Eurovision movie as much as we thought it was, so another Dan Stevens image was required…

…And then it was decided to change the headline, too.


All I Ever See Is Them And You

The joy of the THR newsletter graphics is their speed, the way in which they go from “here’s the headline” to completion in a matter of minutes. In many ways, it’s like subconscious design, which allows for both happy accidents and unexpected moments of, if not inspiration, then at least discovery that I find myself fond of afterwards. Here’s the latest batch, with perhaps the happiest accident yet.

Easily my favorite moment of miscommunication, the following graphic had to be reworked two different times after my editor initially mixed up Alexander Skarsgard and Peter Sarsgaard, and then, upon realizing his error, didn’t communicate it with me until the last minute so I had to change the image to make sure we weren’t showing the wrong actor. We’re all very professional, I promise.

Put Myself On A Line

And so we return to the world of THR newsletter graphics, where much fun is had on a weekly basis despite the speedy turnarounds and almost guaranteed last-minute changes. It really is a highlight of my week, you know…

These next two weren’t corrections, but simply me not being able to choose a color scheme, so I offered two alternatives.

These next two are a last minute switch-up; as protests over police brutality were happening all over the country, we went back and forth about whether a story about merchandise for the comic Black should be called “Black Market,” or if that was too crass. Ultimately, we decided it was, so it got switched just before the newsletter went out.

You Know It’s Three Weeks, I’m Going Insane

Usually, there would be two weeks’ worth of THR newsletter images in this post, but because of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, there’s only one — we took the week off. So you get one, but at least all of them are kind of great and colorful…? Just imagine that the missing images translate as me taking it easy for once.