Category Archives: cover art

A light work week

Because I’ve been up to visit friends in Virginia and today, barring some disaster, I’m at Mysticon (TYG holds down the fort and minds the puppies). Plus TYG was off Monday, so I took some of it off too.

The big accomplishment was that I finally got the kinks out of the Atlas Shagged cover. Surprisingly simple, I just had to find a cover design that matched the size of the image I wanted to use. So next month, it’ll be out!  Otherwise nothing much to mention. So let’s go to my perennial fallback, cover art:

The Silver Age Suicide Squad wasn’t much to read (which didn’t stop me buying a TPB recently), but I do think that’s a strong cover by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. They really capture the shock of being very small and very helpless.

Murphy Anderson provides the cover art for this one, which I posted a few years ago. What a hook for a young reader.

One of my favorite Mystery in Space covers, by Gil Kane.

And another Gil Kane cover. From the synopsis I’ve read of the story, the cover is the equivalent of clickbait, only tangentially related to the story.

Switching to Marvel, we have a Jack Kirby cover that deftly combines the two unrelated series in the book.

Here’s one of Marvel’s horror/monster covers, again by Kane.

That issue was actually a reprint. Here’s the original by Marie Severin from four years earlier.

And I’ll close with another Kirby cover because unleashing something called “Shagg” is inherently funny.

All rights to all images remain with current holder. #SFWApro


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Some days you get the blog post …

But yesterday I was too tired to say anything deep. So as I hate breaking my post-a-day streak, here’s a couple of covers:

I’m actually interested in picking this one up sometime. Cover by Jeff Jones, with a psychedelic flair that seems to fit the subject matter.

Cover by Robert McGinnis. A good example of a Sex Sells hardboiled detective cover.

This one by Schoenherr just works, I’m not sure why.

Below, obviously, is not a cover. It’s a map from Silver Age Harvey Comics showing how all their various series (Casper the Friendly Ghost, Richie Rich, Little Dot, Baby Huey, Wendy the Good Little Witch) all coexisted in the same valley. Even though i wasn’t a fan of them, I find it pretty neat. No clue as to artist.

All rights to all images remain with the current holders. #SFWApro

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A friend of mine on “you can’t judge a book by its cover”

As it was a personal comment on FB, I won’t quote her by name, but here it is:

“Some books you can’t judge. Most you can. The fact that it is most is what makes the aphorism annoying to me. It might as well be an expression like “you can’t eat dinner at a table”. Yes, most certainly there are times when you can’t eat at a table (libraries, museums, tables covered with things, tables in other people’s houses which you aren’t even supposed to be in, you have no food, etc.), but as a general rule, tables are places you can eat. Even using your example, protagonist on the cover can often, though not always, tell you quite a bit … Does the protagonist appear to be male or female or gender neutral? If male, is his shirt on or off or on but deeply unbuttoned and/or ripped? If gender neutral, do they look like a monk? If female, what is she wearing? Is it practical or modest or sexy or skintight or porn-armor or actual armor? If sexy, is it in a mode traditionally targeting a heterosexual male audience or a female audience? Is she wearing Louboutins? Is the protagonist armed or unarmed? Do they look frightened or bold or happy or shocked? How old is the protagonist? What is in the background? Lightning? A house? Does the house look creepy or inviting? A city? What’s the color theme? And those questions are just assuming the person is alone on the cover.”

Case in point, this Paul Lahr cover and text tells us it’s SF, and it’s got some sexual content. That’s not a bad start to hooking a reader.

Hector Garrido’s illustration below suggests eerie childhood magic, which is spot on.

And this Ian Miller cover screams “fantasy China.”

And much as I dislike People Staring At Me book covers (this one by Blake Morrow) this one clearly does tell us something: the protagonist is female, she’s ready for action, and she’s in some kind of wetlands area. And she’s goodlooking.

And this cover by Leo and Diane Dillon says “something weird and supernatural” (RIP Ursula LeGuin).

Rights to all covers remain with current holders.


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A few bits of cover (and other) art (#SFWApro)

Dealing with Mum’s memorial service and such this week, so all you’re getting is some art. First, some surreal Jim Steranko from Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD:

Next, Jerry Grandenetti frmo All-American Men of War

Another Steranko

And as I was reading a book on René Magritte last weekend, here’s his painting Golconda

A cover by Lou Fehr

And here’s a poster for the forgettable time-travel film Cyborg 2087.

All rights to all image remain with current holders.

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Cover art for Friday morning (#SFWApro)

First off we have an issue of The Kirby Collector with a Jack Kirby sketch of his heroine, Big Barda.

Next an oddball cover by C. Gross.

Despite the title, The Cosmic Rape is a great book. Cover by Powers.

Next a cover by Mitchell Hooks for a book that inspired one movie and several knockoffs with its story of a millionaire’s disembodied brain wreaking havoc.

One by Emsh.

And one by Jack Gaughan

All rights to all images remain with their current holders.

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Jack Kirby Monster Art (#SFWApro)

Right before Fantastic Four became a hit Marvel’s output variously included teen books, horror and Westerns. Though horror is an exaggeration — the Comics Code had clamped down on horror, so they had to settle for SF and kaijin horror. Alien invaders. Prehistoric monsters. Giant mutants. The scripts were mostly crap, but they did boast art from talents such as Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. And the covers made them look far more entertaining than they really were. Here, for example, are some Jack Kirby covers.

I know, in hindsight a creature named “shag” seems like a bad idea.

The look of that cover and the distinctive perspective are great.

Monster Breaks Loose was a staple cover image, usually with warnings about how invincible he was and how we were all doomed.

Another with a neat look to it.

And that’s a clever hook.

Covers courtesy of Mike’s Amazing World. You can find info on a lot of the stories at the Marvel Universe Appendix site. All rights to the images remain with current holders.

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Well I suddenly ran out of steam (#SFWApro)

So it’s going to be some cover art again for this morning’s post

Art by Blanchard. Unrealistic, a friend pointed out (there are lots of things that would tower above Lady Liberty), but still striking.

By Bob Foster. These old Ballantine books always seemed like Cool Adult SF to me when I gazed at them as a kid.

An eerie Powers cover.

And one by Joe Magnani

And another Bob Foster for Ballantine.

All rights to the images remains with current holders.

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