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Sep 20

Calm down Faux-nan. Don't get your knickers in a twist.Click for larger image

Good Show Sir Comments: Cover art, suitable for framing, from the artist’s website.
From his biography:
Peter died much too soon but at least he was sitting in a bar with a drink in front of him. There are worse ways to go. At his funeral the vicar said he was probably “getting in the rounds” in heaven. I like to think he’s painting there too … He was intelligent and widely read and a regular member of his local pub’s quiz and cricket teams, though he would say that was mainly for the beer! He died in March 1998 in Skegness while he and some colleagues were working on a mural at Butlins, relaxing in the hotel bar after work.

Published 1979

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 8.93 out of 10)
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39 Responses to “Swords in the Mist”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    Well, there’s something that can squeeze through a small crack.

    We’ve seen this one before though, on a different, French novel.

  2. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Ooh la la! L’art du livre a été vu auparavant!

  3. Tag Wizard Says:

    This cover is obviously different. The French cover is a left-handed swordsman painted by an unknown artist.

  4. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Purple Babe: “I wish my hair were as nice as his.”

    Green Babe: “And I’d kill for those boots.”

  5. fred Says:

    Just the art.
    http://www.peterelson.co.uk/images/gallery/large/SwordsInTheMist.jpg

  6. Bibliomancer Says:

    This isn’t the first time this artwork was reused. Here is another cover.

  7. Francis Boyle Says:

    I followed Bibliomancer’s link. The Golden Ass indeed. It’s a good thing I’m not American or I might have bitten.

  8. Tom Noir Says:

    Pretty sure backs don’t muscle like that.

  9. Raoul Says:

    @Bibliomancer – That Penguin Classics cover is a fresco from the walls of Pompeii. I believe it is the famous Roman gladiator Gluteus Maximus.

  10. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @draziWgaT: silly me!

    @Raoul: Gluteus minimus is a real invertebrate! Or was, anyway, 350 million years ago.

  11. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Raoul—I wonder if he is related to this guy.

  12. Bibliomancer Says:

    The artist seems to have shamelessly sold this same artwork to a lot of publishers.
    Here’s another one.

  13. Tat Wood Says:

    I propose Butlins in Skegness as the venue for the first GSS convention. Bagsie first go on the monorail.

    Meanwhile, back at the covers… the ladies in the background seem familiar: under their carnival masks I bet those are Violet Beauregard from ‘Berkeley Showcase II’ and Veronica Lake from ‘The Green Girl’

  14. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Violet seems to have an axe stuck in her forehead.

  15. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Tat: I’m in! Wifey can visit the Dunkin Donuts Centre in Providence while I’m in Boston. 😉

    I’m glad they specified this as the “Swords Series”, because otherwise I might have thought this a prequel to Gorillas In the Mist.

  16. Tom Noir Says:

    @Biblio: you made my day. I want that version of Little Women.

  17. Anna T. Says:

    @DSWBT: I thought this cover looked familiar! This would be the original that the French book stole from, I take it.

  18. drlemaster Says:

    I remember really digging this series back in 7th grade, although I pretty sure the covers on the copies I borrowed were less embarrassing than this one. I am pretty sure Fafrd does sword fight an octopus at some point, so is this book the original client for this art?

  19. Tag Wizard Says:

    @drlemaster – The painting is called Swords in the Mist on the artist’s website so that must be the original. The Golden Ass and Little Women covers came later. Much later.

  20. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Bibliomancer—Chinese GSS is making threatening noises about annihilating Guam unless you pay them royalties for those two covers, which, they claim, are original art they commissioned. Just thought you should know.

  21. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Conan the Callipygous.

  22. Tat Wood Says:

    @ Dead Stuff: it’s a bit of a commute from Skegness to Providence. Mind you, the Boston you have in mind might be the original in Lincolnshire.

    TF Green International in Rhode Island now does one way flights to Scotland or Norway for $99, so the US contingent of GSS could, theoretically, all make it to Butlins. Getting home might be an adventure…

  23. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Tat: congratulations, you too have discovered The Joke ™ ! I’d give you a hard time about it, except as soon as you start advertising cheap transatlantic flights my cronies will probably want to send me across the pond and keep me there…

  24. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    I close my eyes
    Only for a moment and the girls are gone
    Octopus
    Pass before my eyes, a curiosity

    Same sword fight
    Just a drop of water in an endless sea
    All we do
    Crumbles to the ground when we get a wedgie

    Swords in the mist
    All we are is swords in the mist…

  25. THX 1138 Says:

    When I was younger (so very long ago), a holiday in Butlin’s meant guaranteed sexual intercourse. By reputation, anyway. I have, er, never been to Butlin’s.

  26. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @DeadSWBT—deep 🙂

  27. Tag Wizard Says:

    @DSWBT – What a beautiful ballad. I can just imagine nappy-butt singing this as he fights.

  28. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Thought this looked familiar.

    Still merde on the book it was created for. I don’t think Fafhrd or Mouser ever wore thongs. They liked to be comfy when sword fighting, and able to get the meat&2veg out quick when the babes were available.

    These women are wearing ridiculous outfits and look way more bored than they should at a nearly-starkers barbarian sword-fighting a giant cephalopod. What sort of weird, wacky life do they have that this is a yawner? Or are Violet and Veronica just so, so bored at posing for sci-fi covers?

    Perhaps the artist was engaged in his favorite pastime whilst painting?

    “Little Women” would have been a LOT more interesting if it had giant octopuseses and be-thonged swordsmen.

    @DSWBT: holds up lighter, grooves to violin solo

  29. GSS ex-noob Says:

    And why is this rated higher, i.e. worse, when it’s on the proper book than on its previous appearance on le mauvais livre? (Or subsequent. Or Chinese.)

    I mean, it’s no woman in a bear suit eating turkey leg, sasquatch rape, or Nazi gnomes.

    @DSWBSongs: we also would have accepted (in second place)
    all we are is butts in a thong

    @TW: Booties.

  30. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @GSS ex-Kansasan: well, you can write your own thong lyricth! 😉

    Also, is Fafhrd any relation to Grignr?

  31. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @DStuffWBT—
    Also, is Fafhrd any relation to Grignr?

    They are the sons of Covfefe.

  32. RachelJ Says:

    @drlemaster and Tag Wizard. Yes, this is indeed the original context for this most versatile piece of artwork (illustrates the short story “When the Sea King’s away”).

  33. drlemaster Says:

    Yes, I am remembering that story now. So, thanks for that? Looking back, Leiber must have really liked writing sword fights. Giant cephalopod shows up – sword fight. Sent off to fight giant lizards – sword fight. Shrink down to oppose intelligent rats trying to take over – sword fight. Somehow, it always comes up.

    But, yeah, I am pretty sure they were generally wearing pants.

  34. Tat Wood Says:

    @Dead Stuff (23): I deal with New Englanders a lot and they always seem baffled when you mention that town names such as ‘Swansea’, ‘Braintree’, ‘Cambridge’, ‘Manchester’, ‘Billericay’, ‘Bristol’ or ‘Dartmouth’ were retreads. I had a long afternoon explaining why a local news story about a rapper from Taunton caused me to perform ‘Combine Harvester’ by the Wurzels. (Look it up, if you dare.)

    It speaks volumes about how grim colonial Massachusetts was that people got so homesick for Essex.

  35. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Tat: I’ve read a bit about that Cotton Mather fellow…not that surprising, really. Fortunately, the United States today is a representative democracy, not a fascist state run by a self-important maniac who likes to scapegoat the weak and treats women like objects…wait a mo…

  36. Anna T. Says:

    Regardless of what orientation this painting is placed on a book, it still looks ridiculous.

  37. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @BC: In which case they must have had to split the meager inheritance of vowels.
    Covfefe = 3
    Fafhrd, Grignr = total of two

    Presumably their feudal lord took the third vowel as heriot, and if Grignr or Fafhrd ever had a son, he’d get no vowels at all.

    @Tat: And they were so poor and grim that they didn’t even tack on “New” to the town names, like New York and New Jersey did.

    Massachusetts has worse weather than Essex, so that likely put them off, along with the whole Puritan ethos. I mean, given a choice between Cromwell and Chuck 2, gimme the fancy hats and theatre-going any day — but not them.

  38. A.R.Yngve Says:

    On the barbarian’s back, we can discern several major Fantasy Muscle groups:

    – Lumpus Verticus Nonfunctionalis
    – Dorsal Vertebrae Disappearedus
    – Gluteus Squeezeus Thongus
    – Slabus Pointlessus Superioris
    – Slabus Pointlessus Inferioris

  39. Muttley Says:

    Fantasy illustration checklist v54.03 (provisional)

    ridiculously proportioned protaganist – check
    unfeasibly large sword – check
    pose – as if stepping over a muddy puddle – – – NO NO No no, start again (sigh)

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