This is the sketch that was chosen. I hated it but tharg said it was good and told me to do it. So I did, like a good little droid. It took some working to make it "happen" tho...
OK, I cheated: this was stolen wholesale from the cover of my self published book "the man who learnt to fly" but as it was such a low print run I figured I could reuse the idea. Tharg didn't like it much, but he liked the b/g ideas which I later ditched.
This looked a bit like bad trips was boogying so I'm glad tharg didn't want it. The first idea. Often the worst.
This is the finalised composition. Note how it differs from the final cover. I basically still wanted to go with a centralised symmetrical design, but tharg thought otherwise. Here we have gone for Kirby hands and squiggly hair but the other details have been ditched.
This was the final design which I came up with. The blue b/g not only complemented the other colours in the shot, but they also resonated with the design on the interiors. It's funny how I didn't notice that until the very last moment. This is the original layout and as I noted with the sketch, you'll see that the final cover was cropped differently to how I planned.
This was an attempt the liven up the colour contrast a bit. My least favorite but I included it for novelty value.
This was the original design, with the yellow being dominant. Tharg expressed concern that all that yellow may get a bit lost of the shelves and asked me to try some other variations, which I did.