January 24, 2012

Fantasy author poses like female characters on the covers of fantasy books.

"My sense is that most of these covers are supposed to convey strong, sexy heroines, but these are not poses that suggest strength. You can’t fight from these stances. I could barely even walk."

(Via Andrew Sullivan.)

25 comments:

Crunchy Frog said...

Dammit Ann! Now I have to wash my eyeballs out with soap.

Coketown said...

I see why Andrew Sullivan was intrigued, but you?

Revenant said...

Marketing and psychological research has found that if you make a 2x2 matrix of "tough/sexy" and "male/female", gender appeal breaks down like this:

Tough male: Appeals to both genders

Sexy male: Appeals to women

Tough female: Appeals to neither gender (unless the woman is also attractive; see below)

Sexy female: Appeals to both genders

Thus, everything from movie posters to CDs to books to game covers features good-looking women and tough looking guys. The exception is products marketed exclusively TO women, e.g. Twilight or romance novels, which usually go for "sexy men and women".

chuck said...

Well, the guy is ugly. And why talk about practicality in a fantasy novel? That's what magic is for.

Simon said...

No, you can't fight from those stances. But what can you do, honey, you're just a man... Waiting for that strong heroine you need to look after you.

paul a'barge said...

Via Andrew who?

Oh. Yuck.

Refuse to click.

SPImmortal said...

What a retard.

Most artists use models as references for their art, whether it's traditional painting or digital phottoshoppery. Of course most of the characters on fantasy covers are going to be in ridiculous modeling poses.

edutcher said...

Maybe his girlfriend won't inflate.

Lamar63 said...

Oh lighten up Francises! It was amusing and somewhat endearing. I agree with Coketown, I don't see why this was bloggable but that is why I like Althouse's blog. She is eclectic plus we get interesting comments like Revenant.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Do not go to Andrew Sullivan about anything involving female anatomy.

Synova said...

Well, I was going to say something about that but...

OMG, JOHN RINGO HAS A SEQUEL TO PRINCESS OF WANDS.

*whew*

I feel better now. :-)

Synova said...

Okay...

I'm not going to say a thing bad because the guy wrote the goblin quest books which are cute and funny and my kids liked them.

The pictures are a hoot.

And we can all appreciate that he drew the line at blogging, as he said, his own butt crack.

But the complaint implied, that the cover art *ought* to have realistic "tough chick" poses, is ridiculous.

Oh, and did I mention that John Ringo has a sequel to Princess of Wands?

JAL said...

Hilarious.

But why are you reading Andrew Sullivan?

Suburbanbanshee said...

First of all, fantasy art used to be full of scenes where things were happening, beautiful scenery, or multiple people doing things.

Now, 97% are some woman wearing black leather and tattoos, in some kind of Photoshop contortionist concentration camp pose. It's ridiculous and pitiful, and an insult to the great tradition of fantasy art illustration. There is nothing in there to dream about, unless you're some teenage male with no access to Internet p*rn.

John Burgess said...

He had fun; those who went to the page had fun.

Can anyone say that the SOTU was fun?

Clearly, this guy brings more joy into the world than the POTUS.

Simon said...

Suburbanbanshee said...
"Now, 97% are some woman wearing black leather and tattoos"

It's progress of a kind. They used to draw sexy attractive females; now they given them tattoos instead.

Tibore said...

"My sense is that most of these covers are supposed to convey strong, sexy heroines, but these are not poses that suggest strength. You can’t fight from these stances. I could barely even walk."

Uhhh... the genre is labeled FANTASY!!! (*facepalms*)

Synova said...

The purpose of a book cover is to let the buyer know what's inside without looking.

The MLN Hanover cover and the other ones with the woman in leather and tattoos is short-hand for "paranormal action-adventure-romance". If an animal was on the cover with her the "paranormal" would be "shifter".

This is useful if you're looking for that genre or if you're trying to avoid that genre.

Old RPM Daddy said...

Read somewhere that with the historical romance genre, the cover art was supposed to be, "Girl on the jacket, but no jacket on the girl." Same sort of thing for the fantasy genre, I gather.

Salamandyr said...

Funny, but it doesn't really say much. Except for "Queen of Wands" by John Ringo, every one of those books is squarely aimed at women.

Fantasy, especially the urban fantasy genre is heavily targeted at women now. That's the big reason fantasy covers look like romance novels.

Firehand said...

Those aren't fighting stances, those are showoff stances; 'nuff said.

I used to have a challenge for fantasy/sci-fi illustrators: "Ok, so you dress up like the character on this book cover and we'll chase you through the woods for a few hours and see how good you look; up for it?"

Peter said...

Which proves that the golden age of SF is still twelve?

sleepless nights said...
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sleepless nights said...
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Methadras said...

I've largely stopped reading Sci-fi/Fantasy because of the feminist crap that is being injected into these stories. Go walk down the aisle of B&N in the new sci-fi/fantasy section and you will see that roughly 90% of the book covers have females on them in female sci-fi/fantasy stories. Yeah, i'm a sexist pig when it comes to a largely male genre that is being overtaken by pussies.