“Vidar? It’s the Norsemen. We need you to return to battle — right now!”
“I’m on it.”
“And don’t forget to bring the power that you alone wield!”
“Of course not! I’ll bring the Power of Turning People Upside Down.”
@David Below the neck it appears to have the body of a human male (nipples peeping out from underneath the tastefully understated leotard). The head, however… there’s hair, there’s a brow, I think I can even see some abnormally big teeth.
I guess even Vidar didn’t know what to do with it, and he’s turning it upside down to inspect the anatomy a bit closer?
The artist is not incompetent as regards anatomy, lighting, spatial sense, or color. He or she had problems in this painting with balance, motion, and atmosphere.
That is a white skinned ape-man, looking a little like a buff Trickster Monkey God. Our Hero is all yellow and pink and neon blue jeans. It’s an oddly distasteful contrast.
It’s made more Uncanny Valley by the main character’s total lack of a sense that he’s in motion, or dealing with anything in motion (such as the struggling monkey god), or actually off balance. He could just as well be holding a sponge mop, scrubbing a sticky spot on the floor. It’s a weirdly static image.
@Alessandra: I would take issue with spatial sense and colour. When I first looked at the cover, I got my negative and my positive spaces backwards. I thought they were tussling in front of some kind of cityscape with a plethora of peaked roofs! Now I see, of course, that it’s some kind of burgundy cave with yellow stalactites.
@Dead Stuff With Big Teeth: The artist does indeed have trouble with figure-ground reversal at the top of the painting. I think that’s a consequence of simplistic, flat painting in an area that was intended to be covered with text.
I was speaking pretty briefly before. By “spatial sense” I meant that the bodies make spatial sense, that they seem to be in the same space as each other, and that they seem to be in an actual space, albeit an odd one. By “color” I meant that the artist uses color dynamically to help the image. I don’t agree with the color choices, but if you look closely you can see how the colors reflect and affect each other.
The more I look at it the more that weirdly hairless white monkey man bothers me.
The color use, and in particular the skin tones, make me wonder how the original looked like, and how much the colors on this copy have suffered since 1985, lighting conditions while taking the picture, quality of the camera etc.
@Jaouad: Thanks for the link — that shows how a bad reproduction (cover printing and/or effects of the photo) can make things look worse than the original. I think Our Hero’s right leg still looks longer than the left, given the way he’s leaning over and the left is barely bent. But the colors are much better and I can actually make out the monkey-man face now.
@Jaouad: Wow, that’s an eye-opener. With the original to compare to, you can see how Questar intensified the colors, repainted the monkey’s armor that nasty nail polish red, and crudely painted out Rowena’s signature.