The Full Dark, No Stars Covers That Might Have Been

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.

(This post has been updated and moved to Brian’s blog.  Please click here to read the rest!)

20 thoughts on “The Full Dark, No Stars Covers That Might Have Been”

  1. Awesome!! Excellent display and detail of one of the best covers ever for a King book.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing the genesis of creating this DJ. Who knew it could be so trying? Kudos to the artist and designer for their talent…and patience!! My only opinionated comment is that I love the 3rd iteration of the Lettered Edition. King’s name “shadowed” in the bluish hue is ghostly and along with the words No Stars, really pops the similar colors in the night scene. Likewise, the color of the words Full Dark pop the colors of the day scene!! They are all fantastic, nonetheless!!

    Well Done, CD!!

  3. Thanks VERY much for the progression of the various cover designs, etc. A lot more work went into this than I EVER expected.

    Thanks again!


  4. WOW! And I thought I was obsessive – compulsive! LOL!

    You guys are incredible! This is just one reason why you are the best in the business, keep up the great work!

  5. Thank you for a rare look in what it takes for a book to get a cover and be published. I think that this is something you should do on the rest of you books.

  6. One of the most pleasurable insights into all the work and attention to detail that resulted in a trio of smashing covers. Thanks.

  7. Brian,

    Everyone involved with the creation of the dustjacket did a truely excellent job. I would say that as much work went into the jack design as the actual writing of the book.

  8. Yet another fantastic production from the leader in quality books. Thanks for the insightful journey thru the process. High 5s all the way around to all involved in this fine work of art you guys did. The nicest thing about the whole deal was also receiving a regular edition copy to read while maintaining the integrity of such a fine piece done by the Masters of the Dance. Thank you.

  9. Fascinating! Amazing how subtle tweaks can yield such dramatically different results.

    Thanks for the ‘peek’ behind the curtains.

  10. This is a wonderful ‘peek’ into CD process of producing fantastic books of our favorite authors! Thanks for all your efforts.

Leave a Reply