Well after weighing the options and and reading the feedback – thanks for the comments everyone. And thanks so much to the person that offered me easy ways to mail gift baskets to Bangladesh. I’ve decided to go with thumbnail #8. I was debating between 7, 8 and 11. But since this is a contest, I thought 8 would probably be showiest plus I was trying to appeal to that 3rd grader that stuck her nose up at the old cover and both of my kids opted for the versions with the bright city lights.
So next step is to clean up the thumbnail. First I wanted to get the perspective right on the buildings so I created a perspective grid and redrew the buildings. I used a vertical vanishing point to make it seem like the animals are looking up at the tall buildings.
To make my guides I created a bunch of lines in Illustrator emanating from a central vanishing point.
Then I copied and pasted those guide lines into Photoshop. I positioned one set of guide lines where I wanted my horizon line to be and a second off the top border of the image for the vertical vanishing point.
Following those lines I was able to clean up the perspective on the buildings. They are still really rough but better than before…
Next I’m going to start working on the characters.