W is for Whelan

In today’s continuation of the A-Z Challenge, I give you:

W is for Whelan

When I do my weekly Book Cover Throwback Thursdays, it’s difficult not to fill post after post with art from Michael Whelan, mostly because he’s incredibly prolific and has created cover art for over 350 science fiction/fantasy novels.

He’s painted book/magazine covers for Stephen King, Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony, Edgar Rice BurroughsMelanie Rawn, Michael Moorcock, C. J. Cherryh, Robert A. Heinlein, and Tad Williams. He’s even had art serve as the cover art for many records.

The piece below is one of my favorites and serves as the cover for Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey.

Crystal Singer, art by Michael Whelan

Crystal Singer, art by Michael Whelan

His work is one of the reasons why I’m a fan of hand-painted covers for books. I know that the world of Photoshop can give us covers with “branding,” but the covers for the Game of Thrones series just don’t compare to the above image by Michael Whelan.

There is something about a painted image from an artist’s mind that makes the cover more authentic and special. When I was a child, I wanted the books that I wrote to have their covers done by Mr. Whelan. For me, it was a symbol of success as these great books I read were graced with his cover art.

Recently, Michael Whelan created a work for a tribute book to Anne McCaffrey called Dragonwriter. As these great writers grow old and some of them leave us, it’s a reminder and a form of encouragement that with hard work, maybe his work will grace one of my novels in the future.

An autographed copy of the Dragonwriter artwork hangs in my office–it’s a visible reminder of my goals and my future.

Dragon Aboard, artwork by Michael Whelan

Dragon Aboard, artwork by Michael Whelan

(Images are copyright Michael Whelan and used under Fair Use for the purpose of education and criticism.)


This post is part of the A-Z Challenge. Every day (except Sundays) in the month of May, I’ll be posting about people, places, books, games, and other things that influence me as a writer or add a certain magic to my life. Join me in April as we explore a Hodge-Podge of Influences & Wayward Treks through the Fantastical.

Read more of my A-Z Challenge posts here.

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