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Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

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The Habitation of the Blessed Cover
prester john
It's not Ghost Rider, I swear!

I'm SUPER curious about y'all's reaction to this--do you like it, does it make you want to buy it, is it evocative? Opinion me, O Livejournal!

Coming over here from http://community.livejournal.com/onaleopard/32359.html.

I've never read a Catherine Valente book (although they've been on my to-read list for a long time) but there's no doubt that this book would not get me to start. Blech.

The cover of this book says to me: self-published YA about a boring white guy.

I wouldn't even pick this book up in a bookstore, unless I happened to catch the author's name, which is almost invisible.

*goes off to buy and download all of Cat's available e-books*

Aah, I'd missed the tweet about the redesign. Yay redesign! Palimpsest was one of the most gorgeous covers I've ever seen ... and then this? It would have been very sad.

I wasn't going to comment, but.. .well, I feel like I have to.

I saw your "redesign is a go" post before this one, so I came and read this one. I made the mistake of skimming the responses here. They started off pretty constructive and considerate, but they lost any level of professional-critique and got offensive and I had to stop reading.

I'll say this BEFORE the rest of my comment, so we're clear on where I stand.

(Apologies for the caps. I just wanted to be sure it wasn't missed that I agree that revisions are necessary.)

Now that I've said that, just to clear things up here and stand up for the artist:

If I'm correct, the artist is REBECCA FUCKING GUAY. She IS, in fact, an award winning professional illustrator. Her work is prolific, gorgeous, and I'd be honored to be half the illustrator she is. She teaches master illustration classes. She's a giant in her field.

She does her homework. She takes photo reference. She knows anatomy. She's good at it. If the hands look funny to people, that's because she probably rendered them well... and the model had funny hands. Sure, maybe she should've "normalled 'em up" a bit for the cover so they're not distracting, but... come on, people. Some of the shit you're saying is a little excessively critical. Do none of you know anyone with swollen joints or large beat up hands? My brother's hands look like the hands of the guy on the cover. It might not be character-accurate, but they're certainly not worthy of some of the "this artist doesn't know anything about anatomy" comments here. She does. Trust me. I've drawn a lot of damn hands in my career, and I don't draw hands as well as she can.

Moving on, comments like "I've seen people spend $50 on a cover and do stuff that pisses all over this so I'm guessing the artist got paid in bazooka bubblegum" don't help. They're really, really insulting to the artist, and insulting to those of us that know how hard it is to work with art directors, critical audiences and the material itself. This comment made me want to puke.

I've seen Rebecca Guay create gorgeous characters of every racial background. I'm betting the artist was working to the art direction she got. That said, artists aren't perfect, and we try to make the clients happy, but it's never 100%. It's subjective.

Please, people, have a little courtesy with your comments. Artists aren't perfect either, and it hurts us real bad when we read shit like some of the most un-helpful comments here.

I know you guys get upset for Cat when she reads a review from someone who doesn't like one of her books. Please have the same respect for other working creative professionals.

Cat: I'm glad at least that this post got the response you desired, and the cover is being reworked. I'm happy for you that it is. I'm sorry to soapbox on your journal. I just didn't feel right not speaking up.

I have thinky thoughts about this situation, and other, similar ones which have been rising to public view lately, but I don't think this is entirely the right place for me to express them.

I'll probably do a post in my own journal, referencing this situation, its development, and its outcome, from the viewpoint of a professional, freelance illustrator.

For what it's worth...

The cover is beautiful, I would consider buying this book. I really like the Mucha influences in teh work. Very art nouveu.