Tuesday 1 December 2009

A more interesting type of 'figure' cover

Evidence that you can have a figure on the cover of a book without it being dull and derivative:

I really like this cover, I think it's striking and beautifully done. I also like the fact that the focus is not just on the figure, but on the lions as well. Excellent stuff. Having checked out the blurb for this particular series, I think I might have to give it a go - sounds interesting.


Kevin said...

Common consensus seems to be don't judge the series off of the first book. It is supposed to get dramatically better.

I've only read that first book ("Furies of Calderon") and while it was enjoyable enough, I doubt I would continue on with the series if it wasn't for the overwhelming word of mouth that things dramatically improve. I'll probably get to the second book in a month or two.

Butcher's other series, The Dresden Files, was the same way for me. First book was alright but each book improved on the previous and at this point it's one of my favorite series going.

The Reader said...

James the Codex Alera covers[US] are good ones & whats even more interesting about them is that they often encapsulate a crucial scene in the book and this has been the case with nearly all the books in this series. I'm a bit undecided about book 1's cover but the 2-5 are definitely scenes in the book.

On another side note, the UK Orbit covers are even more eye dazzling as well. http://nextread.co.uk/2009/03/18/cover-p0rn-the-codex-of-alera-a-series-by-jim-butcher-orbit-plus-turn-coat-promo/


ebleyes said...

I really encourage you to read this series, it's not ground breaking but it is fun and extremely enjoyable.

Like your blog by the way.

Aidan Moher said...

The 'figure' (god, we need a better name for these covers!) is not generally the problem. Rather, it's when the figure is completely static and generic, with no sense of energy or movement. What works about this scene, and what worked about so many Fantasy covers in the 60's/70's/80's/90's, despite how schlocky they were, is that there is action happening on the cover.

A dude fighting water demons is cool. A dude standing in the middle of an empty field, or in the middle of a photographic lightbox is not. None of them are likely to appeal to readers outside the genre.

I don't love the art on this cover, but I don't lump it in with all those other covers I like to bitch about, either.

A Dribble of Ink

P.S. Gav, those UK covers for Butcher's work are great!

Todd Newton said...

Very nice. Definitely a good cover.

Jeff C said...

James..I'll agree with the others that if you give the series a shot, you have to read the first 2 books. Book 1 was just ok..I only continued due to word of mouth on how much better the rest of the books were. Books 2 & 3 were greatly improved. Book 4 I am reading now..its pretty good, but bogs down in the middle (where I happen to be stuck at the moment).

Tia Nevitt said...

This is the kind of cover that intrigues me about the book. So many covers do just the opposite. Very effective.

Unknown said...

I like it a lot! :)

Anonymous said...

James your full of contradictions.On a recent post you praised the cover to Mark Newtons pb cover which had a static figure onfront doing not much with a background that could have been picked from anywhere then in this post you slag off those sorts of covers.This is typical of these online "critics" lots of talk and not much consistency.I have read many a crits blog and have to say lost and lost of words ..verbose to the point where you all are biting your own tails .It is quite funny to read the comments on covers you come up with.To have a section entitled "crap covers" just shows you havent anything to offer that is positive and so shows you to be very uneducated in the genre you are reviewing.But you along with a handful of other self proclaimed judges( online book critics) of what looks good and bad will alwayz give me a giggle.Please keep it going.


gav (NextRead.co.uk) said...

I think Aiden is talking about these covers

Not a figure in site!

Anonymous said...

its like the mark chadbourn cover to the swords of albion.. 3 photos stuck together..very pleasant colour but BLANDDDDDDD. its easy art ..absolutely no design work gone into it. take a photo of a guy in a medieval outfit and relight it . zzzzzzzzz.