Want BLACK JACK? The full set? For free?

Ok people- here's the deal: There are a lot of Black Jacks. A whole lot. Many, many volumes. Which is good- because Tezuka's Black Jack constitutes the greatest achievement in manga ever committed to paper. Seriously.

Choosing the colors for these many volumes has been a little spot of pure joy in the life of an otherwise beleaguered designer. I am a simple man (I know) and choosing the colors for this design (of which I am proud) brings me great satisfaction every time. But... I thought it might be fun to open up this process to the readership in order to see if any of you have any radical ideas vis a vis color: what colors look good together, what colors pop, what colors ring your own peculiar bell etc. So dust off your color theory books or just fly by the seats of your collective pants. Anyone, as they say, can be a winner.

Send me your ideas, and if I like your palette, and Vertical likes your palette, we will use it on a forthcoming volume of the Black Jack series and...(wait for it)...I will send you every single copy in the complete set. Yes, all the Black Jacks can be yours! (and maybe I can persuade the incredible folks at Vertical Books to throw in the three Dororos I designed as well? YES). Provisos below.

Here is the basic template. There are 5 colors to be decided upon- the four rectangles as well as the triangular flaps. The top rectangle, and center diamond are for art (to be determined later).

I am reserving the fluorescents for later use, so: nice try.

Can FEWER than five colors be used? Convince me.

Consider that, at most, these are printed 5c. Process color is preferred, but not mandatory.

The winner will get the first eight volumes up front, from me directly, and the remaining volumes when we are done printing them.

Yes, your co-design credit will go on that particular volume.

Send them to me at pmendelsund@randomhouse.com as jpgs.

I will post the best of the lot after I've received a sufficient number from you all.

Sound like fun? It does to me. Now go to it.


(Update) Oh, they are starting to come in now...I've gotten several. Keep them coming! Here's a nice one inspired by a reader's morning coffee (I'm not going to post them all until, as I said, a sufficient number come in. This is just an amuse bouche):

Finally- some have asked about supplying PMS colors, and others have worried about cross-platform color-shift, to which I say: "worry not the details!" You can sketch these comps with a magic marker if you so like; you can send a patchwork quilt; you can use Illustrator, Quark, Etch-a-sketch, Lego, Lite-brite or fingerpaint. I asked for jpgs, but you can send a pdf, a tiff, or anything else if you prefer. Printing details can always be worked out later.

PPS. As an editor once said to me: "Always exceed your mandate." Here is an example sent in recently: Flaps are different colors, boxes similar colors. Break. My. Rules. Keep em coming!!!!