Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Dark Commands...Again [Cover Art]

God damn it.

I mean, it's not AWFUL, but it has almost none of the atmosphere I initially loved. I guess the bluish glow is supposed to make it feel ethereal, but all it does is make me feel like someone should turn the lights down and think that everyone looks slightly transparent. Seeing as this is the US cover art, I suppose that one can hope the UK is not similarly afflicted.


  1. Eh, I thought the B&W was just as terrible as this one. The people on the cover look nothing short of tacked on and it provides a contrast to the rather delightful atmosphere (which I find reminiscent of the first book's UK cover) that is... for a lack of better terms... goofy. I was no fan of the US cover for The Steel Remains either (I spent the extra money and sprung for the UK edition), but at least the figures on the cover managed to blend instead of conflict with the surrounding art. That being said, the blue glow doesn't really come as a surprise, as it is merely working off from the red glow of TSR.

    The UK cover for TSR was great, but the cover for The Dark Commands seems to have gone the way of the paperback version. Just another set of hardcovers without matching covers on my shelf.

  2. Linkfail. Proper cover art, wrong placement. Although, I will mention that the link is the only source I can find on the art, so there is always the chance that it is just an early design.

  3. I'll agree with you that this cover for The Steel Remains (which I sprung for, too) is by far the best of the bunch, but I think that the black and white Dark Commands cover fit the series better, as TSR was far more character focused than it was focused on atmosphere or setting. And I'll accept that the glow is a continuation of the other cover, but that one was pretty bad, too.

  4. You are correct that TSR was more character focused, but that hardly matters these days... most covers are either already focused on characters or are quickly transitioning over to character-focused covers. However, I would say that in the case of both TSR and TDC, neither of the US covers are actually character-focused. In both cases the figures on the cover are just slightly more than vaguely placed outlines.

    The Subpress version of TSR hits the head of the nail when it comes to being character-focused and if the US versions would do that instead of trying to find a (half-hearted, I feel, in this cover's case) balance between character and atmosphere, then it would have a much better outcome.

    And this is probably just me, but when I see the guy restrained in the center, the logical part of me goes, "Yeah, he's staggering or stumbling, no biggie.", but another part of me wonders where the Electronica and camera is, because it looks like he is busting a move for a bad Fantasy-themed music video.