Post by GRWelsh on Apr 15, 2018 15:39:52 GMT -5
When I brought up Darrell K. Sweet's cover of DARK IS THE SUN (1979), it got me to thinking about the wonderful diversity and quality of art that was on the covers of SF&F books, especially paperbacks (i.e. what was price-accessible for us young people) in the mid to late 20th century. We didn't have online reviews or Amazon ratings back then. Often the art was the impetus to try out a new writer, and sometimes would be better than the writing itself. Darrell K. Sweet's covers were fantastic, but I didn't appreciate them or take note of who the artist was back in the 70's, 80's and 90's. He did new covers for THE LORD OF THE RINGS in the early 80's, which I actually did NOT like because I preferred the traditional Tolkien art (and still do) -- but that was the exception. His art graced the covers of many books that I read, and some that I didn't but was familiar with because other kids I knew read them... like THE CHRONICLES OF THOMAS COVENANT, SHANNARA, DERYNI, XANTH, and GUARDIANS OF THE FLAME series (still haven't read those, except for the first Deryni book). Sweet was also the artist for the cover of the first Ballantine paperback edition (1983) of HIERO'S JOURNEY (1973). He got his start doing the cover for GATHER, DARKNESS! by Fritz Leiber (1975), for Del Rey. In later years, he did the covers for THE WHEEL OF TIME and THE RUNELORDS books. I don't know why I felt like posting about this artist... He died in 2011 at the age of 77, and his artwork has been all around me for nearly my entire life. I'm glad artists get more credit now than they used to, and sometimes I just wonder: how many people got started on a journey of reading because of a great cover? The cover of DARK IS THE SUN is interesting because it is such an unconventional framing of the characters -- we're viewing them from behind, as if we're looking over their shoulders and following them on their journey.