A selection of exclusive subscriber covers from Empire.
Chris Lupton: Every month, Empire’s loyal subscribers get a special one-of-a-kind cover. Completely different from what we use commercially on our newsstand covers, they work outside the usual constraints of the competitive newsstand market, giving us a chance to explore very different visual treatments and the opportunity to work with artists whose work we admire.
June 2017 - Alien: Covenant
This one took a little time. We wanted a Giger-inspired cover, but were also lucky to have the budget that month to upgrade paper stock and emboss. This was strictly for the fans! I wanted a LOT of detail to make the embossing worthwhile so there was a lot of back and forth to add more layers in. On top of that, I needed to work closely with Ridley Scott and his team in making sure the ‘reveal’ of the new xenomorph was correct. Contrary to popular belief, Empire doesn’t always get to see a movie months in advance, but sometimes we are lucky enough to work closely with filmmakers, production designers and all the amazing artists who contribute to making the movie. With this, we had various concept art and production stills to work from, but not the finished Alien. Every month I’m lucky to work with some truly talented individuals, and Jacey is one of them. Everything here is completely CGI, working only with the available assets to hand at the time.
August 2017 - Blade Runner 2049
Illustration: Van Orton
One of the fun things about our subs covers is that we try to have no preconceived ideas as to what the finished art might be. That’s the joy of not having to worry about whether it will sell on the newsstand. I’d been following the work of Van Orton for some time, but never had the opportunity or right movie for them — until the Blade Runner sequel. The process was super-quick, and from a selection of four different early roughs, Terri and I eventually settled on this. Inspired by the first trailer’s view of a not-to-distant future, it was all about the neon lights! My only regret is that we didn’t print this on a holographic foil!
December 2017 - The 25th Anniversary of Reservoir Dogs
Illustration: Noma Bar
Sometimes, there’s that particular movie that has such a huge cultural and visual resonance that you simply don’t know how to pay the right tribute. Reservoir Dogs and the movies of Quentin Tarantino are embedded in Empire’s DNA and our readers’ love of this classic is so fiercely cherished.
I gotta say — I was scared to even tackle this visually. What would I do? It’s a movie worshipped by so many, with the original poster emblazoned on so many of our bedroom walls. After deliberating with my editor for what seemed like months, I eventually handed my complete trust over to my longtime collaborator, Noma Bar. It’s not often we get to do ‘retro’ covers but I knew he’d put a different spin on this movie that would make it feel fresh again. Clever Noma sees things in the everyday that regular human beings simply don’t — and I was so pleased with the results. Bold and graphic — it’s now my favourite cover of 2017.
Creative Director: Chris Lupton
Editor-In-Chief: Terri White