Thursday, March 13, 2014

Solomon Kane Covers

   Solomon Kane gets much better artistic representation on his covers than Kull does. I think Jeff Jones' illustrations are the best. They're appropriately dark and moody for Howard's dark and moody Puritan adventurer. 
   Don't get me wrong, Gary Gianni's Wyeth-style pictures are awesome. Looking at them, it's pretty easy it to imagine a beautiful Scribner's Illustrated Classic version of Solomon Kane. But the Jones' pictures get at the mix of action and darkness better.

Jones I

Jones II

Jones III

This is the first Solomon Kane book I owned. The cover's ok (I don't know who did it and I'm not near the book), but the Tim Kirk interior illustrations and maps are even better. 

Bob Larkin's cover for the Bantam collection I didn't own is pretty awful. With out thrust pecs, Kane's planning to protect the shiny, naked girl. Sheesh! Still, I'd like to have a copy for the Tim Kirk art.

This third and final issue of Cromlech has a pretty neat cover by Steve Fabian. Nice and stark, just like Kane's pilgrim getup. 

Ken Kelly, Howard artist nonpareil, drops the ball with this one. A master of motion and energy with his Conan covers, this looks static, as if Kane's posing for a statue. 
So here we come at last to Gary Gianni's beautiful covers. Like I wrote, this could easily have graced a Scribner's Classic Howard book in a better world. Who doesn't like sword fights and monsters? It would have looked perfect between Westward Ho! and The Black Arrow.

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