American Covers Part 1

American publishers liked the idea of these books a whole lot. Probably because they were making an absolute shitload of money. But unfortunately Americans cannot just accept things the way they are. No. In an act remarkably similar to every single time their television executives see a good show from the UK and think they have to make their own, the publishers felt compelled to change the cover art. This went on for the first thirteen books, before they starte reusing the same cover art. I’ve pillaged some scans from The Internet. So, let’s look at the first few examples of American publishing’s finest disasters…

You're not missing much.

You can tell it’s Zagor on the right because of that ridiculous thing floating by his head.

As you can see, the art for The Warlock of Firetop Mountain is good enough. But the premise is not. That grinning Skywalker clone is presumably supposed to be the hero. This is a major failing: The main character is not supposed to be on the cover! They happen to have depicted the main character as white, blonde, male, and grinning like an idiot. Where does that leave everyone else? Also, why is Zagor just standing there like he’s okay with someone taking his chest of gold? The Zagor I know would be all “Hey what is this, why are you here?” and then be a melted puddle on the floor. Also I note that the more likely ending is the protagonist sitting on the still-locked chest, weeping at the thought of having to trek back through the mountain looking for the keys.

It's not bad but it's so silly

Assume I made some joke about The Power of Grayskull or Star Wars.

The Citadel of Chaos gets an epic sword and sorcery cover. There’s the pointless thrusting of the sword skyward while kneeling in some kind of heroic pose, but without the woman in a torn dress that barely covers anything. Okay so it’s a point in their favour that they didn’t reach that level of ridiculousness, but it’s just so silly. Also, that staircase goes nowhere. It’s sort of like the cover to early computer games, actually. Except they were excused, because it’s not like they can be accused of getting the overall feel of the product wrong with a stylised image depicting adventure on a tiny and unrealistic ledge. We were grateful for anything then. But these books were an interactive multimedia experience (yes, really, don’t make me frown at you) and as such we can expect more.

Ahem… But it is better than the original Citadel cover.

You're better off this way.

I probably wouldn’t be so outraged if the original weren’t so great.

It’s as if someone looked at the cover of Forest of Doom and said, “You know what? This cover is just not rubbish enough,” and then proceeded to make some poor artist cry by continually saying “Well it’s nearly right, but can you make it a bit more shit?”

I think that angry tree is in the book, and also the giant. Maybe the bobcat?

Space adventures IN SPACE!

Naturally the best thing for the cover of a book where combat is not required to win is a scene of shooting.

Ahahahahahahahahahaha. Oh dear.

It's just not as good.

On the upside, the Allansian Bird Hat Society is represented here.

So, aside from the problem that this look more like the cover to Small Stubby Tower of Thieves, there’s a very significant thing there that makes me very annoyed: This Zanbar Bone is nowhere near as cool as the real Zanbar Bone.

Zanbar Bone appears out of nowhere to scythe you up!


Yeah, you tell them!


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