So I just finished the July cover, my second for the Hyogo Times. It comes from the Art Director's idea to have Japanese Prime Minister Fukada set in a purikura photo booth.
For those who don't know, purikura is a Japanese institution (and just to protect my own reputation - I did this "look" with a purpose) with a reputation for over-the-top-super-uber-kawaii-cute-tacky-ness. Kinda "icch," but hey, no accounting for national taste.
You go into these booths and pose against a green screen and then choose any of many exotic/cute/tacky/over-photoshopped backgrounds and then add stamp-style any of many shapes, icons, text, characters, etc. This fast, exciting music is playing the whole time while the seconds count down, so its real easy to screw them up, exponentially increasing the possibilities of hyper-tacky-hood.
For the PM, I found some but created most of the elements you see pasted behind and before Mr. Fukada. Lots of fun, and it went fast. I started the drawing today at school around 3:15, worked on the drawing till 4:15, then came home and finished the pencil work. Then the color work, creation of elements, etc.
Question: do you like that he's in B&W? I could color him, but I want him to stand out against the colors, since he's known for being this stolid, stone-faced no-nonsense politician, and was afraid even pale colors in his face might lessen the contrast.