We catch up with illustrator and designer Boris Moncel about his work on Laced Records’ Resident Evil vinyl releases — this time covering sleeves for the CODE: Veronica X and Resident Evil 0 soundtracks.
By Thomas Quillfeldt
Boris Moncel’s work on the Resident Evil (2002) and Resident Evil 2 (1998) OST vinyl sleeves was disgusting.
And that’s why he came back to work on more titles, this time including the soundtracks for 2001’s Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X, and 2002’s Resident Evil 0. (For a bit more background on Boris and those first two Resi vinyl sleeves, check out our previous interview.)
The two games occupy slightly odd spots in the series. CODE: Veronica was at one stage destined to be the one true Resident Evil 3 before an internal shuffle of projects at Capcom saw it gain a subtitle instead of a number. On the other hand, Resident Evil 0 was a prequel that followed hot on the heels of the Resident Evil remake, using the same stunning game engine and releasing the same year. Both games have their fans, and have been re-released on modern consoles.
Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X and Resident Evil 0 OST deluxe double vinyl are available at www.lacedrecords.com
You aren’t worthy of its power
A series fan, Boris had played Resident Evil CODE: Veronica on its launch platform: the beloved, doomed Dreamcast. His eye was caught by the cover of the Japanese collector’s edition of the game, which sported a beautiful red and gold cover.
After a template was established with Laced Records’ Resident Evil vinyl releases earlier in 2019, it was a relatively straightforward process to put together the next two LPs. To start, the team threw around ideas for creatures that would fit the various panels of the sleeve. Next, Boris trialled two different poses for Alexia Ashford’s third boss form for the front cover:
Given the age of the game and available concept art, Boris knew he’d have to redraw and frame Alexia for the vinyl cover. The way official concept art depicted her boss forms made her simultaneously alluring and horrifying. Boris wanted to capture that juxtaposition: “I wanted her to be attractive in some ways but also very scary at the same time.” It was this goal which led to the second pose winning out: “In the design we settled on, Alexia is looking down at us in a more dominant, powerful, and ultimately scarier way.”
Boris’s final front cover for the Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X vinyl:
Dolls are never not creepy
The gatefold spread of the CODE: Veronica X vinyl was begging to be filled by an iconic scene from the game. The team settled on the mutilated suspended doll that hangs in Alfred Ashford’s private residence, a pretty strong indication of his state of mind.
Here are some of the draft stages:
Boris comments: “The doll gave me goosebumps working on it. The 1988 horror movie Child’s Play [featuring Chucky the murderous doll] scared me when I was younger, and the suspended doll gives me the same feeling.”
Here’s the final gatefold piece:
The back cover of the sleeve depicts a Nosferatu enemy looming over the Ashford residence:
Zeroing in on horror
The artwork for the Resident Evil 0 soundtrack vinyl was even more straightforward for Boris to work on, with the team settling on the ‘Mimicry Marcus’ aka the James Marcus Mimic for the cover:
It was a no-brainer to depict the claustrophobic train interior in the gatefold:
And the back cover felt best served by the Leech enemy emerging over the top of the iconic train:
After the details for each panel are finalised, Boris colourises the pieces, ensuring they are consistent with each other and with the series vinyl sleeves released so far. The choice of vinyl disc colour for the limited edition variants is also taken into consideration when establishing the overall palette.
Boris Moncel (BlackMane Design) is an illustrator and designer – Instagram: @blackmane_design | Twitter: @BlackManeDesign | You can get in touch directly via kontakt [at] blackmanedesign [dot] com (he doesn’t bite) You can buy the limited colour and standard editions of Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X and Resident Evil 0 OST deluxe double vinyl, as well as the standard editions of Resident Evil (2002) and Resident Evil 2 (1998) at www.lacedrecords.com (US); www.lacedrecords.co (rest of world.)