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paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
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Cover Art: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

 This thread seems to be doing well over in Paranormal so here is its Fantasy/SF counterpart:

 

One topic that always seems to come up when we're discussing new releases – ANY release, for that matter – is the significance of cover art. Good cover art can mean the difference between a bestseller and a flop. There's no doubt about it – bad cover art can doom a great novel and great cover art can make a mediocre novel a bestseller. We've had some exceptionally good – and exceptionally bad – cover art in fantasy and SF over the last few years and I thought it would be nice to give kudos to some of the very best of the best.

 

What are some covers that have just blown you away? My all-time favorite is the cover art for an old edition of Michael Moorcock's Elric. Let me see if I can find it on the Internet...

Paul 

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
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Re: Cover Art: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Here it is – the cover art from the 1977 DAW paperback edition of Elric with cover art by the legendary Michael Whelan. To me, this is everything cover art should be – it's compelling, it's mesmerizing and it truly is a work of "art." There have been literally hundreds of artistic interpretations of Elric but for me, nothing comes closer than this. The cover is my nomination for the best SF/Fantasy cover art.

 

 The image “http://www.stormbringer.net/images/elric/elric11.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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Nelsmom
Posts: 2,628
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Cover Art: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I loved the orginal covers for Urusla Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy.  Not saying the ones today aren't good it just seems like they have lost some of the charm of the orginals.

 

I also like the covers for Andre Norton's Witch World series.

 

Toni

Toni L. Chapman
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care
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Bradinator1
Posts: 360
Registered: ‎08-04-2008
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Re: Cover Art: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


paulgoatallen wrote:

Here it is – the cover art from the 1977 DAW paperback edition of Elric with cover art by the legendary Michael Whelan. To me, this is everything cover art should be – it's compelling, it's mesmerizing and it truly is a work of "art." There have been literally hundreds of artistic interpretations of Elric but for me, nothing comes closer than this. The cover is my nomination for the best SF/Fantasy cover art.

 

 


 

Paul,

The one for "Sailor on the Seas of Fate" was better. All Micheal Whelan art wasn't it? I always liked the Hildebrandt brothers art also. They did some nice Tolkien stuff and the original art for Sword of Shannara. The cover of McKillips "Heir of Sea and Fire" by Darrell K. Sweet was a nice one also. Let's not forget Frazetta's "Deathdealer" on the Molly Hatchett album covers, lol!

 

Brad

 

 

"Stand back everyone, nothing here to see
Just imminent danger, in the middle of it, me
Yes, Captain Hammers here, hair blowing in the breeze
And the day needs my saving expertise" - Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion) from "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
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Raven_Lunatic
Posts: 302
Registered: ‎10-13-2008
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Re: Cover Art: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I absolutely love the cover for Mercedes Lackey's Reserved for the Cat.

 

I can't seem to post the image, though.

_______________
"Fear not, for our army is strong and courageous."
"Just hope they don't sober up before we get there".
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paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
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Re: Cover Art: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

[ Edited ]

Bradinator1 wrote:

The one for "Sailor on the Seas of Fate" was better. All Micheal Whelan art wasn't it? I always liked the Hildebrandt brothers art also. They did some nice Tolkien stuff and the original art for Sword of Shannara. The cover of McKillips "Heir of Sea and Fire" by Darrell K. Sweet was a nice one also. Let's not forget Frazetta's "Deathdealer" on the Molly Hatchett album covers, lol!

 


Brad:

Yeah, the Sailor on the Seas of Fate cover was fantastic too. I love all the Hildebrandt stuff – remember the fold-out poster in the original Sword of Shannara? Classic artwork, that. And, geez, Frazetta....no comment needed there.

Paul 

Message Edited by paulgoatallen on 01-29-2009 06:28 PM
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
Frequent Contributor
VTfan
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎09-23-2008
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Re: Cover Art: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I think Frank Kelly Freas did some interesting stuff.  But it was for the Boris Vallejo covers that I bought Tarzan books I already had copies of.
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foureyed
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎11-17-2008
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Re: Cover Art: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

On the Baen Books Site, in March there in an anthology of stories by Christopher Anvil coming in February, where the Felinoid creature on the cover, looks like a heavy metal guitarist. He is actually holding a gun of some sort, but the pose makes me think of James Hetfield in a Catsuit...    I think it's funny...but then I am a bit weird.
If ignorance is bliss, then Washington D.C. is the Happiest Place on Earth!
Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,327
Registered: ‎08-16-2007
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Re: Cover Art: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Maybe this is an "I'm freaking old" realization but is it me or does the SF/fantasy cover art from the 70s and 80s totally kick butt on the cover art of today? I just went through a bunch of my old books and realized how many awesome covers there were back then. Does anyone have my back on this statement or am I just getting crotchedy?

Paul 

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
Inspired Bibliophile
Nelsmom
Posts: 2,628
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Cover Art: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Paul,

 

I've got your back on this one.  I think that they are trying to make them too romancy today though I have to say that Marcus Pelegramas's book Blood Black has a pretty good cover.

 

Toni

Toni L. Chapman
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care
Frequent Contributor
lordfeyr
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎03-18-2008
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Re: Cover Art: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

My two favorite artists for cover art are:

 

Whelan and Sweet

 

 

The cover to the Path of Daggers is one of the nicest looking images I can think of.  Rand leading his army but if you open up the book to look at the back side you see a ruin showing a statue of Lews Therin wearing the same crown and holding the same sword as Rand... Beautiful. 

 

Below is a scan of a 2001 Wheel of Time Calendar I have showing the whole image but it was bigger than the scanner so it didnt quite fit and the lighting is off a bit.

 

[IMG]http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c149/lordfeyr/pathofdaggersscan.jpg[/IMG]

 

Whelans covers for the coldfire trilogy are amazing as well.

 

[IMG]http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c149/lordfeyr/coldfire.jpg[/IMG]