Friday, 3 February 2012

Mediocre Cover Art (An Occasional Series) 'Phalanx' - Ben Counter

It occurred to me, not long ago, that I actually love bad cover art. Seriously, I do. The worse it is, the more likely it is that bad cover art will get attention whether it's on blogs like this or people gagging at the sight of it on the bookshelves. In a weird kind of way, bad cover art does a good job in that it gets people noticing the book and that is always a good thing if people then pick that book up and check it out.

Mediocre cover art though... that just makes my blood boil... I mean, what's the point of having cover art that the eyes can't fail but slide over in the hunt for something far more interesting? Cover art is more often than not the first thing you see of a book so make it interesting dammit! Make your cover art do something, make it say something to potential readers whether the artwork is well done or poor. Don't, whatever you do, don't just stick half of a very uninteresting spaceship on the cover (with just one star in the background) and think that's enough to get potential readers excited. Don't do something like the cover art for Ben Counter's 'Phalanx' for example...

You can actually hear the artist yawning as he drew this; I think I yawned when I saw it... If you can't do the whole job then don't bother doing it at all; hand it over to someone who actually gives a... you know what :o)

Shame really, as the blurb didn't look too shabby,

Phalanx, the great star fort of the Imperial Fists, is playing host to Space Marines from half a dozen Chapters, alongside Inquisitors, Sisters of Battle and agents of the Adeptus Mechanicus. They have come together to witness the end of a Space Marine Chapter, as the once-noble Soul Drinkers, now Chaos-tainted renegades and heretics, are put on trial for their crimes against the Imperium. But dark forces are stirring and even this gathering of might may not be enough to guard against the evil that is about to be unleashed...

Doesn't look like much of a star fort to me... I expected better from the Black Library whose covers never fail to catch the eye. More mediocre cover to follow (especially if the blurb looks decent).

5 comments:

Erik Lundqvist (@erik_lundqvist) said...

I agree. Not the best cover I've seen from BL.

Have you read any of the other Soul Drinkers novels?

Blitzspear said...

I've read all the other soul drinkers books and the cover art for them all is great, this however doesn't even begin to echo the previous covers. This story was serialized in Hammer and bolter, so maybe they where trying to do something a bit different with there covers as they do concentrate on heroic action scenes. but it is a bit Meh.
Blitz

Graeme Flory said...

I haven't read any of the other Soul Drinkers books, often thought about it but never quite got round to it. I do remember thinking that the cover art was quite striking though, not like this...

Blitzspear - Is Hammer & Bolter worth picking up?

Sdrazak said...

Actually, the book is an awesome finale to the Soul Drinkers series, but the cover art really leaves something to be desired..The series is good overall, an interesting take on Space Marines not loyal to either side, and the final book is astonishing..Recommended (also read it on Hammer and Bolter)

Ken Wong said...

Black Library has a lot of great cover arts, just look at the Space Marine Battles or Horus Heresy books. So it's not like they don't know which artist to contact. I wonder why they decided to go with something so plain.