Sunday, July 17, 2016

Book Cover Art: Photo-Sharing Apps and Giveaway

I was at one of the thrift stores in my town looking for a tee because I don’t like today’s styles in clothes. Not that I have a problem with anyone else wearing knee-length kaki or silky shorts or big brand gym tees, but today’s style just isn’t my thing personally. I’m a vintage type and so I buy and wear ‘60s/’70s style; I’m a nerd for those eras. Anyway, I didn’t see anything there that I liked as far as clothes go. But the store was having a Four-book/$1 deal. So I went to the book section to look for vintage paperbacks, especially ones with good book cover art.

Book Cover Art From the Frazetta-Vallejo Era

I found something by the late sci fi/fantasy author John Morressy, who I’ve heard of several times but haven’t really read any of his work. The book was a high fantasy called Kingsbane, the third part of the Iron Angel series. I’m not a big reader of high fantasy, although I do read at least one title in the genre a year. But this first printing from 1982 bears a book cover illustration that makes you want to stare at it for hours. As you can see below, it shows a warrior battling a towering, cloaked spectre like the Ringwraiths from Lord of the Rings. The style is much in the tradition of Boris Vallejo and Frank Frazetta, both of whose work dominated sci fi/fantasy paperback covers of that time (late ‘70s/early ‘80s). There’s an energy that runs through that style that today’s digital tools can’t capture. It’s the energy called human passion.

A paperback book cover depicting a warrior raising a knife at a cloaked figure.
Credit: PEI/Playboy Paperbacks

Book Cover Art on Photo Sharing Sites

While I was looking for other books to literally get my buck’s worth, someone called my name. I looked up to see an uncle of mine walking toward me. So we talked for a while and he was telling me about how he’s been using Instagram to display his art for a comic he and a friend are collaborating on. He said he’s been displaying illustrations in stages and therefore showing the process of the work. I told him that I should do that with my book cover illustration for “Circa Sixty Years Dead”. So I made a new account for myself planning to put several stages of “Circa”’s book cover art on it, including what I’ve done to date. The problem is that Instagram doesn’t want any nudity or even partial nudity and I didn’t see any filters that limit the age range for posts. The statue in my illustration is nude. So until and if I can find an age filter on the app, I’ll just have to show you the progress here:

Incomplete colored-pencil drawing of a giant six-armed goddess statue coming to life.
Credit: Steven Rose, Jr.

As you can see, I’m getting very close to finishing it. So I’m aiming to have the cover reveal by next week.

Giveaway: Guess the Boo-boo

The only problem is that I’m going to have to use marker for the black sky, because it will be too tedious to use a coloured-pencil and will take up too much lead for all that space. So I will have to go extra slow when coloring around the edges of the statue because correcting a mistake made by marker is a hell of a lot harder than correcting one made by pencil. I’ve already had to fix a coloured-pencil mistake.

The first person to correctly guess where the mistake was gets a free copy of The Fool’s Illusion. I’d say they get a free copy of “Circa Sixty Years” when it comes out, but I’ll already be making that available for free for a limited time. But if the winner can’t get “Circa” during that time, then he or she can let me know and I’ll arrange to give them a free copy in lieu of The Fool’s Illusion if they’d like. To guess where the mistake is, leave your answer in the comments box. Hint: It’s not in the sex organs, if that's where any of  you were thinking of looking. That being said, it is somewhere along the edge of the statue.

I’ll let you know next week if I have stages of the book cover illustration on Instagram, depending on the filters available. If not Instagram then maybe Flickr who I also have an account with, but I have to see what their content policy on nudity is. Another place you can see updates about work is at my new Facebook author page. Be sure to like it and feel free to post any comments you may have.

Until next time . . .

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