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  1. #1
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    The Positivity Cover Art Thread

    This thread is for discussing cover art, past and present, trends in cover art, and if you like, some about the books and authors attached to the cover art. To stay on topic in this particular thread, however, you can only make positive comments about cover art and present cover art that you like, through embedding or links. (Good-natured jokes, however, are acceptable.) In particular, the word "childish" is completely off topic and should not be used, even when discussing the cover art for children's and YA fiction. You will also be off-topic if you critique any other member's positive opinion about a cover.

    (There are many other threads on cover art in the forum for those who would prefer not to participate in such a topic regarding cover art.)

    A cover that I liked very much recently, which I've mentioned elsewhere, is the cover for Jay Lake's new novel Green. It's dynamic and arresting, I find, and the color is appropriately gorgeous.

    http://www.amazon.com/Green-Jay-Lake...4776933&sr=8-1

    I also really like this one for a novel of Lawrence Watt-Evans due out this fall:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/076...pf_rd_i=507846

    Making it like a watercolor sketch goes well with the figure's Renaissance garb, and the image is distinct and caught my attention.

    (Apologies for using Amazon links, but my computer is physically incapable of embedding images at SFFWorld and we haven't been able to fix it.)

  2. #2
    Rogue Warrior
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    Yeah, They're both cool, Kat, especially Lake's Green.
    I'm not familiar with Evans, who might he be similar to? (Off topic, sorry, Kat).

  3. #3
    Yay good art!

    I agree, the cover art for Green is fantastic. Dos Santos in general does really nice art.

    I also love the art for Ken Scholes' Lamentation and Canticle:





    Gorgeous, painterly, atmospheric work. I haven't read the novels so I can't say how well they fit the text, but they're beautiful designs in their own right.

  4. #4
    Rogue Warrior
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    Hadn't seen the Canticle cover yet, I like that one.

  5. #5
    Registered User Luke_B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cranky Hamster View Post
    Yay good art!

    I also love the art for Ken Scholes' Lamentation and Canticle:

    Gorgeous, painterly, atmospheric work. I haven't read the novels so I can't say how well they fit the text, but they're beautiful designs in their own right.
    I agree. Canticle isn't out but the cover for Lamentation fits the text very well.

    I'll also give a shout out to Dan Dos Santos. If I buy Green a big reason will be because of the cover. His Mercy Thompson covers are some of the better ones for that subgenre.

    I'm a big fan of Donato Giancola, so much so that I'm probably the only person that liked his infamous "Fabio" cover for the Name of the Wind. There's a great sense of motion and it has a very classical feel. To borrow Kat's words, dynamic and arresting. I was really annoyed when this cover got so much criticism and DAW went for something totally generic for the next book. I would have loved to see Giancola do a rendition of an older, more world-weary Kvothe.

  6. #6
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazz Wylde View Post
    Yeah, They're both cool, Kat, especially Lake's Green.
    I'm not familiar with Evans, who might he be similar to? (Off topic, sorry, Kat).
    No, that's okay within the topic, to ask about the authors. I've only read some short fiction by Watt-Evans, which seemed pretty good, but maybe someone who's read more can tell you who his novels are most like.

    I also liked Giancola's cover for Name of the Wind. I particularly liked how he used line to make the figure flame-like with the sweep of the wind and the lute. I thought it went really well with the title. I've become a big fan of Giancola's art.

  7. #7
    I liked the zoomed-in cover for The Name of the Wind that focused on the detail of the green man's face, which is all I'll say about that one.

    Todd Lockwood can be hit or miss for me, but when he's on, he's really on. This is the cover for an art-book collection of his works. I love the drama and vibrant colors of the image. This is one of the few "scantily-clad female figure" pieces that really works for me; IMO the central figure comes off as more "iconic" than "cheesecake."


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    [...]
    A cover that I liked very much recently, which I've mentioned elsewhere, is the cover for Jay Lake's new novel Green. It's dynamic and arresting, I find, and the color is appropriately gorgeous.

    http://www.amazon.com/Green-Jay-Lake...4776933&sr=8-1

    I also really like this one for a novel of Lawrence Watt-Evans due out this fall:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/076...pf_rd_i=507846

    Making it like a watercolor sketch goes well with the figure's Renaissance garb, and the image is distinct and caught my attention.
    I like both. Right now I think I prefer the one for Watt-Evans, even though it looks more historical than fantasy, but I suspect the one for Lake could grow on me.

    I had a collection of Watt-Evans short stories that was saddled with a cover that didn't really do the stories justice; I can't say I was excited by the stories I read, but they were at least competent and all were written with obvious intelligence and thought that the cartoon-like drawing and coloring of the cover did not convey. This cover lends his novel a touch of, for lack of a better word, gravitas, but at the same time doesn't give the impression this will be a heavy, slogging story.


    Randy M.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    ... you can only make positive comments about cover art ...the word "childish" is completely off topic and should not be used... You will also be off-topic if you critique any other member's positive opinion about a cover...
    I'm foaming at the mouth here.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ironhill View Post
    I'm foaming at the mouth here.
    Just to point out, if, for instance, you disagreed with my assessment, you could always drop me a line off-thread and explain how wrong-headed I am.
    (Again a for instance, I can easily understand how someone else could disagree with my comments on the cover for Watt-Evans.)

    Who knows, maybe an individual discussion might lead to something more positive being brought up on-thread.

    Randy M.

  11. #11
    Gentleman and Scholar Wulfa_Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cranky Hamster View Post
    I also love the art for Ken Scholes' Lamentation and Canticle:

    (images deleted)

    Gorgeous, painterly, atmospheric work. I haven't read the novels so I can't say how well they fit the text, but they're beautiful designs in their own right.

    I'm not a fan of the cover work for Scholes... for me it harks back to 80s style of book covers.

    I am a big of cover artwork snob really... I liked the artwork for James Barclay's second edition printings of the Raven books (example below). I "borrow" the idea of the colour siloute



    But hated the original artwork for the series:



    Nearly put me off buying the series.

  12. #12
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Wulfa, you're off topic. You criticized the Scholes artwork which another member liked, and you presented a cover that you do not like and stated that it was awful, which is not the topic of this thread. Please see the original post of this thread. Remember, there are numerous cover art threads in the Fantasy Forum where you can talk about art that you don't like and what you don't like about covers other people like, such as the Cover Art thread. Or you can start a new thread to do so. But the topic of this thread is positive views of cover art and positive views only.

    Ironhill, I believe in you. You can do it.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Wulfa_Jones View Post
    I'm not a fan of the cover work for Scholes... for me it harks back to 80s style of book covers.
    Yeah, I can see that, but to me it takes the things that worked about '80s fantasy cover (movement, bright color palettes, unabashed use of genre archetypes) and presents them in a modernized, much more attractive form that emphasizes practicality in the fictional world (no chainmail bikinis, people are reasonably proportioned) and greater skill in the artistic rendering.

    Another thing I like about the Scholes cover treatments is that they strike a nice balance between depicting the characters vividly and yet stylizing them enough that you don't see the faces too clearly, which avoids the whole "wait a minute that character doesn't look like that" problem.

    I like the newer Barclay covers too. It's a simple, striking treatment.

    More covers I like:

    Alison Sinclair's Darkborn -- haven't read it yet (it's inching its way onto the TBR pile but I haven't quite been tipped over the edge -- waiting for more blog coverage/reader responses, mostly), but I like the romance of the cover portrait and the way the text meshes with it so neatly. I understand this is a character-centric fantasy with a Regency romance vibe, so if that's accurate, the cover does a good job of signaling to the target audience.

    (I also think this is a pretty idiosyncratic pick because there are a whole bunch of covers with basically the same treatment that I don't like, but for whatever reason this particular one sticks with me.)



    N.K. Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms -- I don't know a damn thing about this book, except that it's a debut novel, but that's a great cover.


  14. #14
    You know, a good cover should intrigue you between the art and the little description of the book. I actually went and looked up Hundred Thousand Kingdoms because it just looked so interesting.



    I have only seen one cover for Name of the Wind:
    http://www.amazon.ca/Kingkiller-Chro...4829315&sr=8-1
    What are these other covers Cranky and Luke refer to? The one I have seen seems to fit the dark feeling of the present day portions of the novel. (Sorry, my computer will not allow me to right-click on the internet - the function is blocked at work, so I can`t grab URLS for images).



    The Green cover is just gorgeous, I agree - and the pose is very different and striking. The slashes on her face are striking. You just want to read and find out how this came about.



    He he, I have Darkborn on the top of my to-read pile, its next after I finish my current book. I`ll let you know if the text matches up with the cover!

  15. #15
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    I've been interested in this book since i saw the amazing cover art for it months ago. Easily one of my favourite covers of all time.


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