Home - Smithland - Obscurities Corner Mail Hal C F Astell - Site Map


Original Art

The art for book covers comes from a variety of sources.

The more reputable publishing companies commission it from artists, usually ones with whom they have an ongoing relationship. Knowing that I can't draw to save my life, I've commissioned art for each of my own book covers, choosing a different Arizona artist each time.

Others, especially when it comes to foreign editions, may just borrow existing art, whether with permission or not. Some were even commissioned for other book covers, which sometimes makes things rather confusing. The cover for Guy's novel, Mania for instance, was commissioned of artist Les Edwards by Sphere. However it's ended up on a number of other covers, including a Polish edition of Alfred Hitchcock Magazine, a Romanian edition of Stephen King's Dolores Claiborne and a collection, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Stories, edited by Stephen Jones.

Looking at the progression from original artwork to book cover is fascinating, especially when we can also see the preliminary sketches.

Here are some of Guy's covers compared to their original art.

Bats Out of Hell

The second edition of Bats Out of Hell, published by New English Library in 1985, featured commissioned art by Terry Oakes.

Thanks to Shane Agnew, who owns this artwork, for providing the image!

The Camp

The first edition of The Camp, published by Sphere in 1989, featured commissioned art by Les Edwards. He says that he's heard that Guy wasn't happy with it, perhaps because it didn't use overt drug imagery.

Here's the source for the artwork (lesedwards.com). Thanks to Chris Hall for letting me know about this one!

Cannibals

The second edition of Cannibals, published by Arrow in 1988, featured commissioned art by Les Edwards.

Here are the sources for the preliminary sketch (lesedwards.com) and for the artwork (mrugala.net).

Carnivore

The Arrow edition of Carnivore, published in 1990, featured commissioned art by Terry Oakes.

Many thanks to Chris Hall for providing this image!

Doomflight

The first edition of Doomflight, published by Hamlyn in 1981, featured commissioned art by Les Edwards.

Here's the source for the artwork (comicartfans.com).

Entombed

The Arrow edition of Entombed, published in 1982, featured commissioned art by Les Edwards.

Here's the source for the artwork (lesedwards.com).

The Festering

The Arrow edition of The Festering, published in 1989, featured commissioned art by Terry Oakes.

Thanks to Chris Hall for providing this image!

Les Edwards also painted art that was only used on a cover proof.

Here's the source for the unused cover (lesedwards.com). Thanks to Chris Hall for letting me know about it!

Fiend

The Sphere edition of Fiend, published in 1988, featured commissioned art by Les Edwards.

Here are the sources for the preliminary sketch and for the artwork (both lesedewards.com).

The Ghoul

The Sphere edition of The Ghoul, published in 1976, featured commissioned art by Les Edwards. The image is of Don Henderson in the original film.

Here's the source for the artwork (nevsepic.com.ua).

Mania

The Sphere edition of Mania, published in 1989, featured commissioned art by Les Edwards.

Here are the sources for the preliminary sketch and for the artwork (both lesedewards.com).

Manitou Doll

The third Hamlyn edition of Manitou Doll, published in 1985, featured commissioned art by Les Edwards. The Thai edition three years later re-used part of the same art.

Here's the source for the artwork (lesedewards.com). Thanks to Chris Hall for letting me know about this one!

The Master

The Arrow edition of The Master, published in 1988, featured commissioned art by Les Edwards.

Here's the source for the artwork (wow-art.com).

The Phantom Press edition, published in Poland in 1991, also featured art by Les Edwards, but it wasn't commissioned by them. It was an existing piece called The Croglin Vampire, which had been commissioned for a collection of true supernatural stories but wasn't used.

Here's the source for the artwork (lesedwards.com).

The Neophyte

The first edition of The Neophyte, published by New English Library in 1986, featured work by an unknown artist.

Here's the source for the artwork (tumblr.com).

The Origin of the Crabs

The US edition of The Origin of the Crabs, published by Dell in 1988, featured a commissioned cover by Rowena Morrill.

Here's the source for the artwork (facebook.com).

The Sucking Pit

The Polish edition of The Sucking Pit and the Russian edition of The Island, both published by Phantom Press in 1991, featured Swamp! by Les Edwards, originally commissioned for a Peter Tremayne novel of that name.

Here's the source for the artwork (mrugala.net).

The hardback edition, published by M. H. B. Press in 2011, featured a commissioned cover by Rick Melton.

Here's the source for the artwork (deviantart.com).

Throwback

The first edition of Throwback, published by New English Library in 1985, featured commissioned art by Terry Oakes.

Here's the source for the artwork (comicartfans.com).

The second edition, published by Arrow in 1988, also featured different commissioned art by Terry Oakes.

Here's the source for the artwork (wow-art.com).

The Undead

The first edition of The Undead, published by New English Library in 1983, featured a commissioned cover by Steven Crisp.

Here's the source for the artwork (hyaenagallery.com).

The Unseen

The Sphere edition of The Unseen, published in 1990, featured a commissioned cover by Les Edwards.

Here's the source for the artwork (lesedwards.com). Thanks to Chris Hall for letting me know about this one!

The Wood

Both covers used by New English Library for The Wood, in 1985 and 1988, featured the same commissioned cover art by Les Edwards.

Here's the source for the artwork (lesedwards.com). Thanks to Chris Hall for letting me know about this one!



Creative Commons License
Last update: 22nd November, 2017