Covers too (WasRE: titles...)

Courtney M Eckhardt cme at MIT.EDU
Tue Aug 3 17:37:32 EDT 1999

>>On the other hand, I really love the cover to my copy of Archer's Goon,
>>showing the Goon hugely sitting in a chair having a snack and smirking
>>toward the unsuspecting potential reader.  That's a *great* cover which
>>does seem to capture the flavor that I get from the story.
>That's the copy I have.  However, the first one I ever saw was a hardcover
>edition which had a huge hulking man holding hands with a small boy--I think
>they were either silhouettes or facing away from the viewer.  But based on
>that cover, I didn't pick up _Archer's Goon_ for years!  I assumed VERY
>wrongly what the story was about, based on that picture.

While we're on the subject of covers of copies of Archer's Goon, the
only copy I've ever seen had a boy, standing with his back to the
viewer, holding the doorknob of a door he'd obviously just opened, his
posture somehow managing to totally a feeling of horror and
exasperation.  The Goon, looking eight feet tall, rather dumb, and
immovable, is standing in the doorway.  You really get the feeling
that HOward has opened the door, seen the Goon, and said, perhaps
aloud, "Oh no, not *again*!" and is trying rather desperately through
sheer force of will to stand in the doorway and block the inevitable
migration of the Goon back into the house.

For all of that, even though the artist got the flavor exactly right,
I really wasn't fond of the art at all.  I didn't like the style, it
being very rough and pastel. <shrug>  Everyone's a critic, I guess. :)

I also really liked the cover of the only copy of Fire and Hemlock I
have ever seen- it was the picture that Polly took from Laurel's
house, with the flames and the leaping horse and the people and the
trees.  Once again, I have to love the idea and criticize the art a
bit- I thought the picture was too dark, and it was almost impossible
to see anything more than the horse and the flames even under the best
of light.  I know that the paiting itself was very dark, but I think
this cover picture was just a little too dark.  (For any of you who
have guessed by now, I fancy myself that I have some artistic talent,
and a lot of book covers inspire in me the "well, it was a good idea,
but they could have executed it better *this* way".)

I have also picked up books because of the covers and been forced to
put them back because it's really just cover appeal... every time I go
to the MIT Science Fiction Library I see a copy of Patricia McKillip's
The Sorceress and the Cygnet, with a lovely cover picture of a
gypsylike woman dressed in dark, jewel-tone colors and gold, holding a
huge book and standing on a rock with a pond or somehting in the
backgroud... but I've started it a good 3 times already and not been
able to finish it.  On the other hand, I love the cover illustration
of The Changeling Sea, also by Patricia McKillip, and that is one of
my favorite books of all time.

>I get very attached to books the way they were when I read them the first
>time.  Like the hardcover editions of the Menolly books, which as I recall
>are very plain and stylized...but for me, that's what I remember.  Or the
>Riddlemaster trilogy--VERY dear to my heart--with the cover art that looks
>like impressionistic oils.  It's not that they're objectively nice, but that
>I have strong associations with them.

I have definately had this experience as well... and I often ind
myself a bit annoyed and disapointed when I have to read a more
recently released copy of a book that I've read before, because the
publisher has taken liberties with the way it *should* be... :)

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