It seems that scenic San Francisco is the latest stop for bedbugs on their nationwide comeback tour. SFBG art director Ben Hopfer wanted to give this cover feature illo the full horror movie treatment, and I was more than happy to oblige.
My first sketch shows a pair of oversized, overstuffed crawlies creeping towards a wide-eyed, screaming gal:
After seeing the first sketch, Ben asked that we see our victim asleep, since the bloodsuckers typically strike while we're snoozing. I think it's a good call, since it makes the illo even creepier. Ben also asked to see more bedbugs, so I generously piled on one additional critter, for a whopping total of three. By now, the editors had supplied their headline, so I broke out one of my trusty horror poster books for lettering reference.
Ben approved the second sketch with one last request, (more blood!), and it was time to go to final art:
Dear readers, will the next stop on the bedbugs' nationwide tour be our very own bedrooms? Let's hope not! As a bonus, here's a G-rated bedbug illo I drew for Michael Gentile at Habitat back in November of 2006: