With the upcoming Blister book being a definitive collection, coming up with the right cover is super important to me. It needed to show the main trio of characters Blister, Harv, and Axel, and be high energy and fun. I also wanted to make it special, and in some way honor the punk rock music that inspired much of the book.
I set out a couple of months ago to find a relevant artist to fit that bill. The natural choice was an album cover artist. There are decades of amazing punk rock album covers, but given that this story is set in the 90s, that narrowed the search a bit. It wasn’t long before one piece of art really stood out.
About 25 or so years ago a character was born that has now become a punk icon. The Pokinatcha Punk was born from the mind of the band MXPX and graphic designer, John Nissen. If you are a 90s punk music fan, you know this guy and immediately link him to MXPX. It’s a brilliant, deceptively simple design that to me is one of the best examples of mascot use in all of music, up there with the Grateful Dead bears, the Descendents Milo, and Social Distortion’s Skelly.
After a little thought, contacting John was a no-brainer. Album cover artists are usually unsung heroes in the arts, and John definitely fits that bill. Unsung or not, I was a little intimidated when he asked me to give him a call to discuss it, but within minutes I was at ease. We actually had similar backgrounds in working with musicians and joked about similar experiences. He quickly agreed to take on the job, and a bigger treat was when John suggested that we collaborate on the cover design.
I worked with my friend and occasional collaborator Greg Woronchak on a rough layout. From there I penciled the piece and handed it off to John to work his magic and bring the piece to life.
It turned out perfect. From the energy of the lightning bold sound waves to the red details leading your eye around the piece to the in-your-face green background. This is a book that I am stoked to put out.
I hope you like what we came up with and I hope you’ll give it a look when it releases. If you want to know more and stay up-to-date with this project, check out blisterpunk.com where you can download the first story free and listen to the band’s music right now!