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.
But wait! He's supposed to be blond!
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!
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:
Facial hair -- Sounis objects, and the rest is history -- we get our current cover!
And here are the other cover ideas.
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!
Well, obviously, Sophos is trying to look pathetic to get some sympathy from Berrone. But....
Sophos as dressed by Eugenides. This is such an elegant design -- and look at that embroidery!
Eugenides is not the only one who dreams of Eddis!
And now the last concept drawing...
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.