Post-Thanksgiving, Life Has Been Happening (with a vengeance) and my brain is wiped, so let’s just admire cool book covers today, shall we?
I first when looking for Chris McGrath’s work after seeing his awesome illustrations for Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy:
Done? (No? You can scroll back up–or skip my words and look down–I won’t be offended). I think these covers are spot-on for Sanderson’s dark, urban setting, a place of ash and soot and mist. Right away, you can tell this is not a pseud0-medieval fantasy or a bucolic setting (I think I’ve been waiting all my life to use “bucolic” in a sentence!)–there are no long journeys through rich farmlands, dense forests and the usual trappings of fantasy settings. This is a menacing city, soon to be in turmoil. Note the lightning in the background, and the fire on the third cover.
I love the way Vin is depicted on these covers. She comes across as smart and strong, yet there’s still a bit of the former waif in her. I like the dynamism of the mid-fight scene in the second cover, and the contrast between Vin’s black and Elend’s white in the third. The pose of the two on The Hero of Ages is perfect–obviously together, ready to protect each other, take on the world and save it, too, that sort of thing.
Haven’t read the above book, but the female on the cover looks an awful lot like Vin (same model?). Which is probably why I like this one, too. And again, the guy and gal, guarding each other’s back, the woman staring directly and boldly out at the reader, while the man’s keeping a lookout to the side.
Something more traditional fantasy–look at the costumes–but still the darker colors. This time the man’s looking at the reader, while the woman’s looking off to the side. If looks like if I reached out, I could feel the texture of the man’s hair and of the wall behind them.
I had to include a Dresden File cover, just because. I like the ones with the whitish backgrounds best–they contrast well with Dresden’s dark clothes.
And here’s Sanderson’s latest Mistborn book (The Alloy of Law, which I have yet to read–can’t decide whether to get it myself or let have the husband have first dibs on it). I like the steampunk elements of this–the goggles, the gun, the clock in the background, the transport to the left (can’t tell whether it’s a really big train or an airship or what).
Check out Chris McGrath’s website to see more detail on some of these illustrations.
I’d like to make this spotlight on a cover artist a regular feature on this blog. Are there any illustrators–especially of F&SF–whose work you particularly admire? Let me know in the comments.