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Concept Art for Conspiracy of Kings

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Jan. 8th, 2011 | 02:43 pm
location: United States, Connecticut
mood: accomplishedaccomplished
posted by: deirdrej in sounis

Ok, so today I have a special present for all my lovely Megan Whalen Turner Fans! And I really hope you like it!

I have been communicating with Vince Natale, the amazingly talented artist who did all the covers for the latest American editions of Megan's books. As you may know, the cover art for Conspiracy of Kings has been a major topic of discussion, and it came up again at the Horn Book Colloquium at Simmons College last October. I saw a few sketches there that I had never seen anywhere else, and they fascinated me.

So, I got in touch with Vince Natale, and he sent me all of the concept art for COK! Plus, he will do a podcast, and will send me concept art for all the other books, too, which I can share with everybody. So, we definitely have some fun things to look forward to in the New Year!

I'm in an awful hurry just now -- family stuff calls -- so I'm just going to post the pictures with only occasional bits of commentary. Since there are a lot of them, they'll be under a cut.

BTW, you know that trend of hands holding things on book covers? Well, it reappears here! I think you can probably guess how ;-D.

Here we go -- enjoy! (And checkers, stop pacing! You're making me nervous!)


Well, I'll start with the first bit of concept art Megan showed us at Simmons. It's  Sophos. And boy, does he look miserable!

Megan's reaction?: NO, NO, NO!!!

So, as you know, we got an illustration of Sophos escaping on horseback instead.
Concept art for Sophos on horse
But wait! He's supposed to be blond!
Blond Sophos sketch
That's more like it! But the editor wants a ring -- Megan writes a lion ring into the story, and finds a picture of one she likes. Also, can we pretty Sophos up a bit? And we would like a prettier horse, please!
Pretty Sophos

Aargh! Egads! Mr. Natale, you are following instructions too exactly! Here is the exchange between MWT and her editor:
Editor: OMG! It's Orlando Bloom!
MWT: OMG! It's Tilda Swinton!

It is suggested that Sophos should look a bit rougher. And, as we know, nothing makes a boy look rough faster than a bit of scruff. So we get this:
Bearded Sophos!

Facial hair -- Sounis objects, and the rest is history -- we get our current cover!

And here are the other cover ideas.

Peashooter
Look! Hands holding a peashooter! And look how cleverly Vince Natale made them two left hands, so we would not be able to guess whose they were!
Sad Sophos
Well, obviously, Sophos is trying to look pathetic to get some sympathy from Berrone. But....
Sophos as dressed by Eugenides!
Sophos as dressed by Eugenides. This is such an elegant design -- and look at that embroidery!
Sophos at the window
Eugenides is not the only one who dreams of Eddis!

And now the last concept drawing...
Apricot
Apricots! A cover in code! Too bad that it would have reminded everybody of Twilight.... (I guess...)

That's it for the art work. A thousand thanks to Vince Natale for sending me all these, and I hope you enjoy them!
Happy New Year, everyone, and all the best for 2011 -- I've got to run.
<3~D.

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Comments {52}

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thelasteddis

(no subject)

from: thelasteddis
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)
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SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE THIS IS SO PRETTY AWAOIERJAKLFJKLSAEJRLIASEWRJKSDJFKSA;SDJTAWIRTU YAY PRETTINESS

I'll come back and make coherent observations later.

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(Deleted comment)

earthstar_moon

(no subject)

from: earthstar_moon
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)
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These are awesome! Thank you for sharing these. It's neat to see a behind the scenes process that went on for the book. ^_^

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yo, i'm hotter than a mithril coat

(no subject)

from: styromgalleries
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
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This whole post is made of awesome!

The Sophos-dressed-by-Gen piece looks epic. 8D

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elle_winters

(no subject)

from: elle_winters
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
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Agreed. Sophos as dressed by Gen = beast


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heiros_acumen

(no subject)

from: heiros_acumen
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC)
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I love these! Especially the one with Sophos holding the sword, that really goes along with the cover for KoA.

A note about the covers, has anyone noticed how on the back jacket of the hardbacks there is a lovely gold border, and the upper border wraps around to be on the spine too, but the lower border stops on the back before getting to the spine? Maybe I'm crazy but it always bothers me a little that they aren't the same.

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brandy_painter

(no subject)

from: brandy_painter
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
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THIS. IS. AWESOME. Thank you so much for posting them all. And thanks to Vince Natale for letting us see them.

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checkers

(no subject)

from: checkers65477
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
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ACK, these are fabulous!!! Totally worth a day's pacing! Thanks for sharing.

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Jokingly Jade

(no subject)

from: jade_sabre_301
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
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THESE ARE AWESOME but sadly your cut doesn't seem to have worked!

BUT SERIOUSLY, OMG, SO COOL.

that first picture of the boy on a horse looks like little!Gen.

also MAN I wish Rosie were here to see all these. ROSIE I AM THINKING OF YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

eek these are awesome. THANK YOU MR. NATALE, AND DEIRDREJ FOR TALKING TO HIM.

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Rosalee LuAnn

(no subject)

from: rosaleeluann
date: Feb. 27th, 2012 03:14 pm (UTC)
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I AM NOW HEEEEEERRRREEE catching up on all the fanarts I missed :D THANKS FOR THINKING OF MEEEEE.

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Nutmeg3

(no subject)

from: nutmeg3
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
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So cool to see how everything evolved! (Though I thought the first horse was plenty pretty enough.)

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mortalasabee

(no subject)

from: mortalasabee
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
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gah! This is fantastic! Thanks for posting! I especially like seeing all the ones that didn't make it.

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freenarnian

(no subject)

from: freenarnian
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
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Oh! Oh! This is so fun to see! Thank you to everyone involved in sharing these with us.

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Emerald

(no subject)

from: emerald_happy
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 09:15 pm (UTC)
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Oh fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing these and thanks Vince Natale for the lovely artwork :-)

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elle_winters

(no subject)

from: elle_winters
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
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Thanks soo much D and of course Vince!!

Maybe we should have all a sounis vote on an "alternate" book cover! All these are great!!!


SQUEEEE !!!


Can't wait to see the rest (espeically for KoA)

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tasukigirl

(no subject)

from: tasukigirl
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
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This is fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing! :D

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msmcknittington

(no subject)

from: msmcknittington
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
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These are great, but do you think you could stick them behind a cut? It looks like you tried, but sometimes if you're writing an entry using the rich text text box, the cuts don't work. Check and make sure that the stuff you want in the cut is actually between the cut tags. :)

Seriously, I'm super excited to see these, but through some twist of fate, you are about the third person on my friends list today to have a cut backfire. I wouldn't ask otherwise!

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hazelwillow

(no subject)

from: hazelwillow
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC)
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Oh, WOW! This is amazing to see and really generous of the artist! Thank you both!
I think I almost like the charcoal sketches better than the coloured versions --they're just so beautiful. Wow!

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all is always now

(no subject)

from: beth_shulman
date: Jan. 10th, 2011 05:10 am (UTC)
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I agree - I love them all, but I have a weakness for charcoal sketches.

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Sarah

(no subject)

from: drashizu
date: Jan. 8th, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC)
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Yay! Pretty! and..... Sophos in his shiny clothes! Thanks for posting these!

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(no subject)

from: roxyloop
date: Jan. 9th, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
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Absolutely amazing!
Thank you for sharing this with us.
And does that mean the ring was added especially to go with the artwork? Interesting! That was such a clever bit in the book since Sophos was too disfigured to be recognized. I wonder how she had the story before.

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deirdrej

Yes! We were amazed!

from: deirdrej
date: Jan. 9th, 2011 02:14 am (UTC)
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Megan didn't tell us how the escape worked before she inserted the part about the ring. (Just one of many things she's not telling, [LOL]). Maybe Sophos had a chance to whisper something to his dad as he was pouring wine, ..... I dunno....

Anyway, yes, the publisher requested that the ring be added to the artwork and the novel.

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Maureen

(no subject)

from: elvenjaneite
date: Jan. 9th, 2011 12:54 am (UTC)
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Oh, oh, oh, the awesome! I love the Sophos as dressed by Gen one, and the one of him staring off at Eddis.

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tiegirl

(no subject)

from: tiegirl
date: Jan. 9th, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
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THANK YOU MR NATALE YOU ARE BEYOND AWESOME!!!!!!!

THANK YOU DEIRDREJ YOU ARE AS WELL! I never would have thought to just up and write to an artist. And then to just have him send you the artwork! I mean, what??!!?? That is great! Sounis rocks, and so does Greenwillow and so does Vince Natale. So say I. And I'm sure everyone will sleep better now knowing I think so. :P

ANYWAY YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Cabin Boy

(no subject)

from: cabin_boy
date: Jan. 9th, 2011 01:40 am (UTC)
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Oh my gosh, thank you so much for sharing these! And thanks to Vince Natale for allowing them to be shared! It is so amazing to be able to look into the process and see how things evolved.

I LOVE the Sophos-dressed-by-Eugenides cover, haha. That would have been impressive to see fully rendered.

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deirdrej

Fixed it! & thanks, everyone

from: deirdrej
date: Jan. 9th, 2011 02:08 am (UTC)
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Thank you so much, everybody, I'm so glad you like the pictures!

I was worried that nobody was seeing the first sketch because of the cut having messed up -- hopefully everything is working correctly now, and the entry isn't so long, and you can see everything again :-)

Yes, Vince Natale is BEYOND awesome, and I'm hoping that we will be able to talk to him soon. And I LOVE Sophos in the fancy embroidered panels -- (well, I love Sophos anyway).

Have to run again -- goodnight! But I'll be back as soon as I can.

Oh! and -- apropos of nothing, the boy who plays Eustace in the new Narnia movie was perfect, and a great actor. What do you think -- could he do Sophos, or are his features too unusual?

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lizzyazula

Re: Fixed it! & thanks, everyone

from: lizzyazula
date: Jan. 9th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC)
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I agree - he's an EXCELLENT actor. Only to me he naturally looks like a prig. Even when he's supposed to be nice and reformed in the movie, he doesn't look innocent enough to play Sophos...that's just my opinion though.

I need to echo everyone else: THANK YOU!!!!!! THESE ARE MADE OF AWESOME AND SO ARE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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(no subject)

from: zumie_ashlen
date: Jan. 9th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
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Oh my gosh, so gorgeous! I love concept art! *squirms in delight*

I think this is finally tangible proof of Gen's fabulous fashion sense.

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puppeteergirl

(no subject)

from: puppeteergirl
date: Jan. 9th, 2011 03:04 am (UTC)
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Awwwww man! I love Sophos as dressed by Eugenides! That one would have been very sparkly! (by sparkly I mean prettyful)

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puppeteergirl

(no subject)

from: puppeteergirl
date: Jan. 9th, 2011 03:06 am (UTC)
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P.s. I never noticed the rope/shackle on his wrist till now.

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sgwordy

(no subject)

from: sgwordy
date: Jan. 9th, 2011 03:18 am (UTC)
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Awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing!

Did you happen to ask him about purchasing prints? I exchanged a few emails with him a couple years back and he said he was organizing print sales but I don't think anything came of it. Have you any updated news regarding this? I would love to buy the covers in prints!

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deirdrej

(no subject)

from: deirdrej
date: Jan. 10th, 2011 03:06 am (UTC)
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Wow! That's a wonderful idea!! I didn't think of it to ask Vince, but I definitely will. :-)

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