To be fair and honest, I’m exaggerating the above emotional responses significantly; however, they are there. It’s simple enough to say that traditional covers often evoke negative feelings of self consciousness while contemporary covers are more likely to evoke positive feelings.
So, after all that rambling, let’s get to a few covers. We’ll start with the main point of this post – a couple of examples of contemporary styled covers that I like a lot.
Chris Shamwana and Neil Lang created the above cover art for Vellum by Hal Duncan. While the initial glance at the cover is not as appealing as it is for The Warrior Prophet, the cover of Vellum does succeed, and the longer I look at it, the more strongly I believe it. The art is similar to that discussed above, especially with the use of script, but it soon becomes clear how much more is shown. The cover gives a sense of depth, of multiple levels within. The image of the hand and the use of red, orange, and black add a sense of unease, leaving a disturbing feeling – it’s hard to imagine a more appropriate cover for Vellum.
I had originally intended to leave this post as a discussion of only of the contemporary styled covers above, but fate would not allow it. The cover art by Todd Lockwood for the US release of The Bonehunters by Steven Erikson was released this week, and it screams for commentary.