This is one of my favorite cover illos from all of Empowered, in large part due to the fantastic color job by Joe Weltjens and Lee Duhig of Guru eFX. I admit that the piece is arguably too crowded and “busy” to read very clearly at a distance, but I still like it quite a bit regardless. (Hence my posting the cover image a second time without the logo and "trade dress," so you can properly appreciate the background ninjas cavorting in the trees.)
This is also one of the last cover illos I was able to ink with my once-beloved Japanese Zebra “maru” quill-type pen tips, which I had to reluctantly abandon after finding myself unable to line up a workable combination of pen tip, ink, and art board. Not long after this point, I found my “marus” would fail to feed whichever ink I’d try—and, in frustration, I tried out dozens of types of inks—or they’d tear up the surface of the ever-changing types of Bristol board I’d attempt to ink on, clogging up the quill tip in the process. The raw inks on this piece are f**king beautiful, if you were to see them; this is one of several such covers I’ve never even considered selling, as they’re such rare and precious examples of a now-defunct art technique of mine.
Gotta say that I’ve considered making this piece available as a print on my rather sparse “merch" page, joining the grand total of four 13” X 18” Hiveworks prints currently available. Would anybody have interest in such a print, or in prints of any other Empowered covers? I’m pretty sure no one’s bought one of the existing prints in months or even years, but perhaps adding a whole new bunch of choices might worth considering.