I have to agree with the cover-blurb writer that of all the words in the English language the one to best capture this scene is; ‘rollocking’. It is rollocking. It rollocks to a quite extraordinary degree.
I actually read this book, it was a parody of the pulp fantasy genre and was pretty funny (to my twenty-ish self). The only thing I remember from it was a part where the hero had to face a fearsome test to prove himself and ended up at a desk with a multiple-choice quiz and a #2 pencil.
As the author of this dubious novel, it was all I could do to get through your comments … from laughing so hard! I think I sprained a neck muscle, actually. Loved Phil’s summation!
Pretty much every character depicted here IS in the book, though this scene isn’t. (And you’ve all completely overlooked the giant red toad the wizard is standing on. In fairness, I never noticed that myself until 2008.) I have to say, when my publisher first sent me a proof of this cover way back when, I was a bit nonplussed by the “still life with corpses” approach (and the fact that the giant blue guy isn’t blue in the book. Perhaps rigor mortis setting in?) but it has grown on me. In fact, I hired Mr. Hescox to paint a cover for my revised version of this book, Hero Wanted, and a forthcoming sequel, Noble Cause. Whether those covers will make it to your gallery of scorn remains to be seen. Thanks for making me laugh my head off! -dm