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Vinny

My take on the covers

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For what it's worth, here's my take on the book covers "issue."

 

I can understand why some fans don't like the DKS covers. If you're looking for literal illustration, they are certainly not going to provide that. When I picture the characters, they look nothing like the DKS versions, except for Moiraine, I think he got her face perfect.

 

The eBook covers are perfectly fine. I can see why people like them. They are professional, modern in style, and apparently follow the texts closely. I like some of them a lot - I think "New Spring" is my favorite.

 

However, I'm more a fan of Sweet's WOT covers. Firstly, there's nostalgia: some of my earliest memories of books are actually memories of DKS covers, that's a very deep personal connection to an artist. Secondly, I really do like his work -- his characters have a unique "look" that no other artist has, it is distinctive. The eBook covers are nice and streamlined and contemporary-looking, but to my mind, they will "date" a lot fast than the Sweet covers. Let me repeat that I respect them and I think the artists are talented -- but they look more "generic fantasy" to me than the Sweet covers. I like seeing real paint-strokes, I like the "faults" (or quirks, to me), I like the style of composition and lighting which come from classical illustration, particularly the Brandywine "school" (Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish etc.) and I like the influence that creeps in from his Western art, a genre I really love; I like Sweet's arms and armor, and I really love his landscapes, he was a very gifted landscape painter; I also like the continuity of having one artist for [sadly, almost] all the covers. Lastly, I don't think a book cover should be a literal, photographic illustration of a text. If the painting has the same level of quality as the book it is illustrating, then one acts as a companion to the other.

 

My biggest complaint about the DKS covers is that he made Rand look like "Kreese" from the 1984 Karate Kid :P

 

SenseiJohnKreese.jpg

 

You can guess my least favorite DKS cover!

 

crowofswords.png

 

However, apart from that, I think I prefer the original DKS covers.

 

So, that's my take on the Sweet covers. I wish they had included both for the eBooks (that's what I'm reading) for fans of the originals, but I guess they didn't want to confuse new readers.

Edited by Malveth

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Sweets covers look absolutely horrible. If I had the American versions of the books I would be embarrassed to read them in public. How that "artist" gets paid to essentially take a dump on a piece of paper and send it in baffles me.

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Sweet's covers are horrid. The ebook covers are incredible. A couple of those covers I'd love to have blown up and used as posters actually.

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The covers are bad. Plain bad. Especially to those who haven't read the series. In fact., to those who HAVEN'T read the series, those covers are atrocious and like book repellent.

 

I think our immense fondness of the series both helps us deal with the covers, and in some cases even endear them to us.

 

In fact I'm thinking with some sick ass covers it might have even found more success. Not that it needs it. Which is probably the point for the crappy covers in the first place. He knew it wouldn't matter.

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The ebook covers are incredible. A couple of those covers I'd love to have blown up and used as posters actually.

 

I love those. I'd buy the whole series again in a heartbeat regardless of the cost if they were released for hardcovers.

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My biggest complaint about the DKS covers is that he made Rand look like "Kreese" from the 1984 Karate Kid :P

 

A Memory of Light spoiler: Rand defeats the Dark One by sweeping the leg.

 

I don't hate the Sweet covers, but I certainly have some issues with them and use to joke about them a lot with my friends. Like how Trollocs are just guys in armor with horns.

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Although I'm not a fan of the Sweet covers, one thing that has stuck with me is the backgrounds. Very early on I consciously ignored the characters because they never made sense and I couldn't figure out who was supposed to be who anyway. But the background and the sceneries have influenced how I imagine places, especially tEotW, tGH, tDR, and aCoS.

 

I would still argue that the ebook covers do a much better job of inviting new people to read the series, maybe with the exception of tEotW.

Edited by Alric

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For what it's worth, here's my take on the book covers "issue."

 

 

My biggest complaint about the DKS covers is that he made Rand look like "Kreese" from the 1984 Karate Kid :P

 

SenseiJohnKreese.jpg

 

You can guess my least favorite DKS cover!

 

crowofswords.png

 

However, apart from that, I think I prefer the original DKS covers.

 

So, that's my take on the Sweet covers. I wish they had included both for the eBooks (that's what I'm reading) for fans of the originals, but I guess they didn't want to confuse new readers.

 

Ok I might be the only one, but ACoS is one of my favorite DKS covers. I like that look on Rand but probably like his look on FoH look the most. I don't like the look of TDR and TGS. It's practically the same shot. He looks too Fabio-like IMO.

 

The worst cover has got to be TGS, not only did it copy the TDR look, but the scale of the manor house is so far off. It looks like a dollhouse back there.

 

I do have the UK TEotW and TGH, and I have to admit I like the minimalism of it. The E-books are pretty cool, but I'd rather consistency of having the same artist. (Even though DKS changed what Rand looked like many times)

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When I picture the characters, they look nothing like the DKS versions, except for Moiraine, I think he got her face perfect.

 

I guess this is just nitpicking but I don't think he got Moiraine right at all. I like the scenery of his tEotW cover, and Lan might be a good fit (except the silly armor) but Moiraine looks nothing like I imagine her. She doesn't match her descriptions in the books. When Rand first sees her, he thinks she is no older than Nynaeve (who was 25 and might or might not have slowed already) except for her "large, dark eyes" which somehow look more mature. She looks older in the Sweet cover. She has dark hair (probably brown, or black, but I'm guessing the former or it would probably have been said outright) and not a reddish or darker blonde shade like on the Sweet cover. While she certainly looks cold and regal on that cover, that is something I attribute to her attitude and not her looks. From the descriptions of her "large dark eyes", her size, and Siuan and Cadsuane calling her a "doll", I imagine her being "cuter" (can't think of a better term) than portrayed on this cover.

 

 

(end of nitpicking obsessed fan mode) :laugh:

Edited by Alric

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My biggest complaint about the DKS covers is that he made Rand look like "Kreese" from the 1984 Karate Kid :P

 

XD I always thought that he looked more like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I agree, Rand does look a lot like Kreese.

 

Anyway, I agree on everything you said. I do love the ebook covers, but when it comes time to rebuy the series I'll probably get the ones with Sweeting's artwork. Nostalgia is my weak point. :)

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DKS(RIP) did some things very well. Just check the backdrop on tPoD, that whole bit is absolutely brilliant. In addition the EoTW cover is an absolute classic. In the early days that cover was responsible for a very large number of people starting this series for the first time.

 

The problem is the things he didn't do that well really stood out. Combine that with his "style" being somewhat outdated and you get the type of criticism that some of the covers have received over the years.

Edited by Suttree

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Lastly, I don't think a book cover should be a literal, photographic illustration of a text. If the painting has the same level of quality as the book it is illustrating, then one acts as a companion to the other.

 

I don't have a problem with artists who want to take some liberties with their paintings in order to create a great cover that draws in a potential buyer or fires the imagination of a reader. Obviously that's going to happen. But when you can't even do Trollocs right, though, to me that shows a lack of respect for the source material. It's like Sweet didn't even read any of the text, not even an excerpt. If you're going to paint the cover, at least know the source material you're painting for.

 

Sweet had a great talent as an artist, I think most of us (myself included) would agree, but I personally think most of his work for WoT is horrible. TPoD is the only one I truly like.

Edited by Crowl Rife

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