Hawk & Croc Book/Video Game Covers: Mostly Unused

Here’s something from the archives that I think fans of Hawk & Croc might enjoy:

In 2013, Brandon Mayo and I printed up copies of the first chapter of New Hawk & Croc, which has just finished, to sell at Phoenix Comic Con (and use any subsequent copies to sell at other locations — We’ve since sold out, so they’re all gone).

I designed the cover to the book to have a retro grid that I’m so fond of, and someone later pointed out that it resembled old Sega Genesis/Mega Drive game cases, which used a very similar grid design.

Well that was a pretty excellent unintentional coincidence. So, I figured, why not lean into it?

For what would have been the chapter 2 book cover (which we’ve never printed), I decided to re-draw our preview image for the chapter, and design the cover after the 1985 NES “Black Box” art. We introduced the villain Frostbyte in this chapter, the corrupt owner of a technology company, so I made an “Official Frostbyte Seal” that parodied the Official Nintendo Seal of Quality.

For what would have been the chapter 3 book cover, I wanted to go back to the Sega Genesis well, utilizing the “Red Spine” design that Sega started using in 1993, including utilizing Sega’s in-house rating system that they were using before organizations like the United States’ Electronic Software Ratings Board (ESRB) and Euro’s Pan European Game Information (PEGI) were founded. This comic wouldn’t have just been for General Audiences, it would have been for people who wanted to Get Mighteous!

I had actually worked out this cover before we had finished working on the chapter, which is why the “screenshots” are missing.

Chapter 4 ended up not being about zombies at all (we weren’t going to tell a better zombie story than The Walking Dead, so we completely changed the focus of this chapter), but I had designed its potential cover after the old “neon grid” boxes that Capcom used for their first several NES releases. To really play with this, I came up with the fictional company name “PACBAM,” the combination of initials for “Psycho Andy Costello” and “Brandon A. Mayo.” It looked and sounded enough like “Capcom” to work for the parody.

Obviously, I mocked this up before we had begun work on the chapter, which is why the images are missing. And why the description doesn’t match the actual story at all.

I never finished the Chapter 5 cover, but the rough scribbly version I did was DIRECTLY based on the cover art for Konami’s NES classic, CONTRA. That cover art is famously “inspired by” promotional photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger from the movie PREDATOR, along with an Alien Xenomorph. As such, I didn’t feel bad at all ripping off their rip off with our titular characters in front and The Great Quagmire in the background.

I’m not sure why I chose “PARCBAM” as the fictional company, instead of continuing to use “PACBAM” for this. Perhaps I was still playing with the company name? I can’t remember, but, again, it was never completed, so who cares.

I’m not sure if we’ll ever actually use these covers. If we were going to sell New Hawk & Croc, I think it would make more sense at this point to print all 5 chapters as a 250-page complete edition.

If that ever happens, though, I’m not opposed to the idea of using the template of an old video game box layout.

You can read all five chapters of New Hawk & Croc over at www.HawkAndCroc.com