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Feb 02

Uh...Sir..SIR! My dragon is regaining consciousness!Click for full image

Everyone is into wizards these days. Your friends, that strange shopkeeper next door who just stares at you, even your mother! Sorry… but who wouldn’t appreciate a mullet wielding wizard with a sexy open ripped shirt, kneeling next to a dragon in the midst of a spell? Teenagers? Well… mmm… uh… uh oh.

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of artI would touch it without protective glovesI have seen worse. Far, far worseInteresting, but I would still read it in publicMiddling: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lamé picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show, Sir.... Good Show! (Average: 6.83 out of 10)
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23 Responses to “The Fires of Merlin”

  1. CSA Says:

    Worst. Merlin. Ever.

    No beard, no staff, no robes, no Sam Neill. Next they’ll be making some quirky BBC series starring an 18 year old merlin. When will the madness end!

  2. Simon Says:

    ‘Come Jeeeesuuusss! Come unto me your faaaaaythfhull suuurvhaant! Annnnnhd draahhve the suuurrrphent out of this, yooooouuurrrhhh evahhhh hhhuumble eeeeerrrrr serpent’

  3. Adam Roberts Says:

    “Young sorcery fans set aside Harry Potter and pick up Merlin” Cincinnati Enquirer.

    Dude! Empirically — they don’t.

  4. James Lovegrove Says:

    Actually, Merlin’s smoking. They’ve airbrushed out the cigarette in his left hand and the puff of smoke issuing from his mouth. This was, originally, an prototype ad for Marlboro, skewed for the fantasy-fan market. In place of a rugged cowboy, a camp mage on an ecstatic tobacco high. In place of a Palomino pony, a dragon, also smoking. It didn’t get very far beyond the initial consultation stages, but then some bright publishing spark realised the art could be tailored to make a cover, and the rest is history. Or rather, whatever the opposite of history is.

  5. Adam Roberts Says:

    “…whatever the opposite of history is…”

    Storyhis?

  6. CSA Says:

    “Marlboro cigarettes, have you leveled up yet?”
    “Marlboro cigarettes, even nerds can look really cool.”
    “Even dragons prefer the flavour of Marlboro”
    “Marlboro cigarettes, giving you that mana boost you need”

    …thats all ive got…

    He REALLY does look like he’s just exhaled a lung. I could really imagine the airbrushed hand too… nicely spotted James.

  7. SI Says:

    Good stuff.

    I’m trying to think of some smoking based fantasy myself. But it’s all pretty lame.

    “Beyond the lands of Marlboro”

  8. Adam Roberts Says:

    I’m trying to think of some smoking based fantasy myself. But it’s all pretty lame.

    Elric of Malboroughné
    Asterix the Gauloises
    The L&M, the Witch and the Wardrobe

    … I see what you mean.

  9. James Lovegrove Says:

    Come on, come on, come on!

    Lord Of The Smoke Rings, surely.

  10. Simon Says:

    Orcs! Orcs! Gaahhhh, Orcs, ca, that’s got it, no I’m fine, just give me a minute, Orcs! Act . . . Orcs! Actually could you get me glass of water . . .

  11. CSA Says:

    Lord of the King’s tobacco ,by JRR Tolkien
    A Wizard of Embassy ,by U. Le Guin
    I Am Laramie ,by Matheson
    Harry Potter and the Gauloises on Fire ,by Rowling

    They’re all a bit of a stretch… but its a good thing i’ve got no work on atm!

  12. SI Says:

    haha

    The L&M, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    I Am Laramie ,by Matheson

    Ah those have made my day almost seem worthwhile.

    Why do I feel like a cigarette…….

  13. Karl Says:

    I like my wizards like I like my Klansmen, with pointy hats, idiotic ritual, and no fashion sense.

    Seriously, what’s the guff against self-published works when mainstream publishers churn out Photoshoppy garbage like this? How ironic that the cover for a genre allegedly servicing one’s imagination would be so unimaginative. This is about as tasteless as Victorian interior design: a clutter and pretense.

    At least with Warhammer 40K covers, they at least wrap the ridiculousness around a “This is Spinal Tap” it-goes-up-11 sensibility. Who designed this? A graphic design school graduate or a half-sentient gibbon?

  14. CSA Says:

    @Karl. Now lets be fair, the artwork itself isnt bad. The artist has probably drawn exactly what he was told to. Its just cheesy. Its marketed towards younger readers probably and has sold pretty well in that market. The Harry Potter books published with pretty poor artwork… and well.. $$$ ka-ching $$$

    40k, star wars, star trek, forgotten realms etc dont need to turn down the volume on their covers because they have a massive fanbase and the readers will shamelessly read them no matter how over the top the cover is. For me, the plainer the cover the better, that way people wont say “holy shit, look at that horrific book that dude is reading”

  15. Karl Says:

    Yes, the artwork isn’t bad. It also isn’t good. The same can be said about “artists” like Thomas Kinkade. The cover is just done in color-by-numbers Art Academy Realism(TM). Granted, it is for kids and kids have consistently shown that they have no taste, comprehension, or know where Middle Eastern countries are. Then again, movie trailers that show you the entire movie aren’t badly edited either. We’re like Saudis, we’re allergic to subtlety and irony.

  16. CSA Says:

    Well i take an anti histomean tablet each morning to keep the symptoms of my subtlety and irony allergy from ruining my day. My doctor says i should deliberately expose myself to some subtlety every day untill i build up a tollarance… i think its working

  17. Eliseo Says:

    Hey now. This is one of my favorite book series. I read it my freshman year of highschool. Though the covers WERE a little weird…

  18. Sorcha Says:

    That’s the most realistic dragon-shaped bong I’ve ever seen.

  19. Tom Noir Says:

    I love the ballsy pull quote. Not the usual disingenuous, “If you love Harry Potter you’ll love this”. No, this book will make you SCOFF at Harry Potter! You’ll be embarrassed to admit you ever read Harry Potter! Life will be brighter, colors more vivid! Everything will taste like cake!

    O what a glorious morn awaits those who pick up this book about a dragon who visits a faith healer.

  20. A.R.Yngve Says:

    The quote “young sorcery fans” seems to suggest a belief that Harry Potter fans are into REAL sorcery.

    Then who recommended this book… a wizard??
    :-S

  21. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    ‘Human FILTH! If you don’t take that bracelet off at once, I shall rip your man-blouse from your chest and bite your legs off at the knees.’

    ‘Jesus will protect me.’

  22. Rev Says:

    His shirt is in tatters but there isn’t a scratch on him…..ooohhhhh wow. Did everybody else’s head just do that when they realised this? What happened to his shirt????

  23. RachelJ Says:

    @Rev. I don’t know, except that it’s obviously the same mysterious fate that befell this chap’s apparel: http://www.goodshowsir.co.uk/2013/04/a-few-good-men/

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