The Full Dark, No Stars Covers That Might Have Been
by Brian James Freeman
If you’ve read Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King, then you know this is a book with a really dark heart, which made deciding on a cover image and designing that cover a serious challenge. A lot of collectors never get to see “behind the scenes” of the creation of a Limited Edition book, so I thought it would be fun to discuss how the cover artwork and design for our most recent Stephen King book came to be.
First, we needed an artist. After much discussion, and once we rejected the idea of going with an AC/DC “Back in Black” style dust jacket, we hired Tomislav Tikulin to paint the cover. We had been impressed with his work on other projects and we felt he would bring a fresh perspective to this particular Limited Edition. We told him we thought we probably wanted a wrap-around cover (artwork on the front and back) with the back cover somehow “showing the inner darkness” of the character on the front, but that was all of the instructions we gave him so he wouldn’t be limited by our ideas.
Tomislav spent weeks on the painting, showing us each stage and discussing ideas and looking for feedback and suggestions to nail the tone, and he has very graciously allowed me to reprint those different drafts on this page so you can get a better feel for the process of how the artwork was painted.