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Darrell K. Sweet has passed away


JenniferL
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And I will personally ban anyone who can't bring themselves to be respectful. Darrell was a warm and caring human being, who loved his wife and children and worked hard to fulfill his contracts even when he was sick. I am in complete and utter shock over this.

 

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/12/darrell-k-sweet-1934-2011

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One of my proudest memories is of Dragon*Con 2005 when we had both DKS and Jordan as guests. I got to spend time with both of them that weekend. I'd been hoping to have Darrell at JordanCon 2013 to help us celebrate the completion of the series, but hadn't contacted him yet.

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RIP, Mr. Sweet. He will be missed.

 

Does anyone know what books the images in the linked article are from? I knew the WoT illustration at the top, but that was all I recognized. The second one might be from a Maurice Sendak book, because the central creature sure looks like a Wild Thing to me. The third one looks like something out of LotR, unless I miss my guess.

Edited by Basel Gill
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Wow... I know that some people had a problem with some of his work but it was his cover art on EOTW that really convinced me to read the book...and the rest was history. I hope he got enough of the cover of AMoL done for someone else to finish..Not because Im worried about the book, but he deserves to have his work on the culmination of this series. God rest his soul, and The Last Embrace of the Mother Welcome Him Home.

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His covers always proclaimed "This! Is! FANTASY!" *cymbal crash" in a very distinctive way. It was like a brand. You knew exactly what you were picking up. That style of art got pretty dated in recent years, but I've always enjoyed it's blatantly cheesy retro-ness.

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I've always been a fan of every single one of his WoT covers, and have always stood by them as being the most quintessential fantasy cover around. Before I even read the books I used to pick them up and stare at the covers, and looking at them I knew this was something I wanted to tackle when I was older cause whatever story could demand covers like this, I wanted to read.

 

I don't know what state the AMoL cover was in when he died. I know we had something rough at least. I really hope that they still use it and have some one touch it up, cause the idea of having some other artists cover on the finally book of this series, kind of makes me sick.

 

RIP Darrell, I hope to see you and RJ together some day, but not yet.

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RIP. I don't particularly care for a couple of his covers, but most of them are very good and I think the stuff Jen said about what kind of person he was matters a lot more.

 

I also hope that my copy of AMoL has something of his on it.

Edited by WWWwombat
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Guest PiotrekS

It is thought provoking that both RJ and Mr Sweet did not live to see the end of the series they, at least in some degree, co-created for so many years.

 

When you were able to leave behind something creative and good, no matter if popular or not, something that will enrich other people's lives when you're already gone - you suceeded in your life.

 

Edit: Looking at Tor page, I have to say that some of the covers shown there I like much more than his WOT covers. It seems the more fantastical the scene, the better his cover would be.

Edited by PiotrekS
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Guest Emu on the Loose

In all my time lurking and posting on this site I had never read one kind word about Darrell Sweet. It's too bad that this beautiful show of support comes too late for him to appreciate. Let it be a reminder to speak up in your life when you still have the chance to make a difference.

 

He drew some good covers. Bon voyage, old timer.

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Terribly sad. :/

 

RIP Mr. Sweet.

 

I love the WoT covers. I've spent a decent amount of time just staring at them and examining each little detail. To me, they were just a part of the story.

 

 

Also, to those asking about the aMoL cover, the article linked above says:

I’m particularly sad that he was unable to finish Memory of Light, the final book in Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series the The Wheel of Time.

 

So, that's the only word on it I've heard so far.

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I'm devastated.

 

I spent my childhood gazing at his book covers, which more often than not, were on library books or on the shelves of bookstores, books I could not own because my family was so poor. I used to save every piece of loose change I could find until I had the $3.00 minimum required to purchase a sf/f paperback. Needless to say, what often recommended a book to me was a cover by DKS. Many worlds, to my inner eye, were art-directed by Sweet. For me, his versions of the Tolkien characters are almost archetypal; his cover to The Two Towers perfectly captures the deep quiet and emotion of the scene it depicts. Sweet's covers were often far more enjoyable than the stories they illustrated [Jordan being the obvious exception!], Sweet provided splendid images for many a hack novelist's tired prose. The publishers well knew that many readers would buy a book entirely based solely on the exciting image provided by DKS.

 

Some of my all-time favorites:

 

Art-Hobbit-Darrel-Sweet-Print-Lord-of-the-Eagles-1982.jpg

 

crossroads.jpg

 

io3f642_TheWestDoorOfMoria.jpg

 

Illearth2~0~0.jpg

 

SweetDragonOnAPedestal.jpg

 

SweetRoadmarksLastExittoBabylon.jpg

 

39071.jpg

 

sapling.jpg

 

My all-time favorite:

 

inscription.jpg

 

When I was a child, my grandmother gave me a Sicilian marionette of a Knight. It was my favorite possession. I loved that Aragorn looked like my knight on the cover of Fellowship...and I still do :)

 

1306194230042.jpeg

Edited by Malveth
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His style was idiosyncratic in a genre where everyone else was samey. We could dwell on some of the minor plot-related errors and I won't lie to say that I liked all of his covers on WoT, his style was old school and he stuck to his guns when others went the way of photoshop and macs.

 

BUT, my introduction to WoT is almost exactly the same as Jason D's...I saw the cover to the Dragon Reborn and thought 'wow'...and the rest is history. I would suggest that most WoT new readers do so via word-of-mouth these days, but at the start, it was the covers and who knows, maybe some teenager is walking into a bookshop today and his/her eye is caught by a red-haired man in a white tunic reaching up to a glowing sword in a red chamber while two friends - one with an axe - look on, enraptured...I think that is Sweet's ultimate legacy.

 

Not a bad one, I'd say.

Edited by macaroni
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This is sad news, indeed. RIP, Mr. Sweet. While I wasn't always the biggest fan of his covers, Sweet's cover painting of Eye of the World was incredible and hooked me into the series. The box set I have for Lord of the Rings has his covers on them, and those helped hooked me as a fantasy reader as well. I just hope they find a way to somehow integrate his work on the AMOL cover into the book. Thanks for sharing your art with us, Mr. Sweet, your work will live on.

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Saddening news to me. I am transported to December 1990 or ‘91 walking through the local supermarket’s book section and seeing The Eye of the World. It immediately grabbed my eye and thus created a major impact on my life. I didn’t get the book right then, but I told my mother that it would be a suitable Christmas present for my 5-ish year old little sister to get me. Sure enough that’s what I received from my lil’ sis that year. I’m pretty sure I would have eventually found WOT if another artist was used, but it was Darrel K. Sweet’s work that gripped that 14 year old’s attention and introduced me to something that has been with me for the greater part of my life. I've only had one similar expierience with another book cover artist since then as well. So, rest in peace, DKS.

 

In all my time lurking and posting on this site I had never read one kind word about Darrell Sweet. It's too bad that this beautiful show of support comes too late for him to appreciate. Let it be a reminder to speak up in your life when you still have the chance to make a difference.

 

He drew some good covers. Bon voyage, old timer.

 

I've personnaly, along with others have defended his WOT work on the boards at times. I have a general feeling of many message boards in general that people tend to speak their mind more when they don't like something than they do when they do approve of it. That's my take anyway. I've liked all his WOT covers except for one. I do think some are better than others.

Edited by Isgrimner
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