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  1. #1
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Chart of Fantasy 2009

    I always find Orbit's yearly summary of cover imagery amusing, if a little scary. How quickly we are reduced to icons!

    Thought others might be interested:

    http://www.orbitbooks.net/2010/08/16...-art-part-one/

    Guess what? More hooded figures, less glowy magic and swords....

    Do you agree?

    [Note: Later edit, for clarification. It's not meant to be taken too seriously, and it is only based on US releases, I understand.]

    Mark
    Last edited by Hobbit; August 16th, 2010 at 06:46 PM.
    Mark

  2. #2
    LOL. My favorite is "Dark Cover of Meaninglessness."

  3. #3
    No love for unicorns. =(

  4. #4
    My five-year old daughter has tremendous love for unicorns.

  5. #5
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Yeah, I saw this chart over at A Dribble of Ink. I thought it was somewhat funny before, but the newly added categories for '09 (was it?) made it even better.

  6. #6
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    No, I don't find it funny at all, because it's coming from a major SFF publisher, mainly. And because of the very serious issues concerning covers and publishers that are going on, and because I spent months dealing with people complaining about covers with barbarians and naked damsels in distress that don't actually exist, that they admitted didn't actually exist, but still complained about anyway. This is a really, really tired joke, from the people who shouldn't be making it, and I'm sorry the poor intern was put to work doing it.

  7. #7
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    That's pretty good stuff... but nothing on vampires?.. or are vamps strictly horror?


    Personally, I like the clean graphic (2D) look for covers. That or a nice epic panorama of the landscape.

  8. #8
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Think vamps would probably be Horror: although you never know...

    What do you mean by the 2D graphic covers, Sparrow? Give us an example!

    I'm thinking you mean this:

    or this:



    rather than this:



    but I'm not sure...

    (And yes, they're all SF/Horror covers. See what I mean about not knowing? )
    Mark
    Last edited by Hobbit; August 17th, 2010 at 11:01 AM.
    Mark

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    No, I don't find it funny at all, because it's coming from a major SFF publisher, mainly. And because of the very serious issues concerning covers and publishers that are going on, and because I spent months dealing with people complaining about covers with barbarians and naked damsels in distress that don't actually exist, that they admitted didn't actually exist, but still complained about anyway. This is a really, really tired joke, from the people who shouldn't be making it, and I'm sorry the poor intern was put to work doing it.
    What do you mean by this, in particular the bold-faced part?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Alchemist View Post
    What do you mean by this, in particular the bold-faced part?
    Yeah, I'm confused as well, it's as though I missed part of this conversation.

  11. #11
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    If this was some fan website that was counting cover images, it would be mildly funny in that yeah, yeah, you don't like glowy swords, fine, sort of way. But coming from one of the major international publishers who decides what is going to be on the covers, it's just weird. Fewer glowy swords and more hooded figures? That's because Orbit decided to go with hooded figures, and before that, glowy swords. No unicorns? That's because Orbit and the other publishers decided not to buy any unicorn series. (And what's up with that?)

    Orbit and the other publishers decide to give in to unfounded bookseller assertions that Asian and black people on the covers sell fewer books and so do covers like that rarely, despite main characters being Asian or black. Del Rey decides to change the title of Richard Morgan's book Black Man to Thirteen in the States and have no humans on the cover; that's a publisher choice. Orbit and other publishers flood the market with cover treatments of women with bare backsides and tatoos for their urban suspense fantasy novels -- which I don't mind at all, but many sneer at -- and often label them romance or erotic because they are by female authors. And then what, they're going to count them and marvel that the covers are there?

    I love Orbit and the other publishers -- though I think Orbit was stupid to let Carrie Vaughn get away -- but it's A) not all that funny to watch them pretend they don't know what their art department is doing and they're just one of us; B) point out that covers have few non-whites and have S&M Maxim images of women with an utter lack of irony; and C) laugh at their readers affectionately as dweebs and encourage others to do so.

    That last one bothers me the least, but it has worn thin. Orbit is including themselves as part of the joke theoretically, but is it really funny that they are pointing out that their art department is incompetent and can't come up with their own interesting cover ideas and instead replicates hooded figures like the rest of the publishers? Or that books with glowy swords sold well to fantasy fans in 2008, he he?

    I read fantasy fiction. I like fantasy art. I am female and I am not five-years-old. And pull my finger stopped being funny a long time ago.

    Or maybe I'm just having a cranky week.

  12. #12
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    Or maybe I'm just having a cranky week.
    Not at all. In reading your explanation, it occured to me that I hadn't really thought about it. As I was reading your post, I started to find myself a bit objectionable to Orbit's chart, thinking, "Hey, we're not dweebs - it is their art."

    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    ...I am not five-years-old. And pull my finger stopped being funny a long time ago.
    Damn it! When will I grow up?

  13. #13
    I was with you untill you said pull my finger stopped being funny. There we part ways

  14. #14
    Registered User Roland 85's Avatar
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    I see where you're coming from, Kat. And it does actually make a lot of sense when you think about it from that angle.

  15. #15
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Well, I think I am being cranky. I can see why Hobbit found it funny. I've been reading too much coverage of Comi-Con and this annoys me.

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