6 Some "Sweet" cover art

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Or what is it with those stupid Darrell Sweet covers?

Contributors include Roy Navarre, Thomas Petersen, John Hansen, Joe Shaw, Erica Sadun, and Pam Korda.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden (pnh@panix.com) wrote:
Darrell Sweet is a careful reader and an intelligent man who skillfully paints what his clients ask him to paint; please don't blame him for the decisions of others.

Geoffre Wieseman answers: Well, who can we blame for the cover fiasco, then? :)

6.1 TEotW: The Gang heads off to Taren Ferry

  1. Moiraine the Midget and Moiraine's Horse the Dwarf Pony (The text refers to the lad being amazed at the sight of the huge horses (plural) ridden by Lan and Moiraine--the biggest he had ever seen.
  2. Moiraine's dress is supposed to be a darker blue than her cloak.
  3. Lan with a Mustache and Goatee?
  4. Lan in Seanchan armor? Lan isn't wearing his color-fading cloak and instead is wearing plate mail. Lan should not be wearing plate mail.
  5. Lan with TWO swords?
  6. Moiraine is really UGLY and is wearing White eye shadow to boot - ugh!
  7. Moiraine's hair is light brown--not dark.
  8. All the horses are wearing ornamental bridles/saddles-what nonsense!
  9. No saddle bags on any of the horses.
  10. Everyone is wearing particularly stupid clothing: Rand with that weird Robin Hood collar, Moiraine in that awful blue cloak, Perrin's feather!?, etc.
  11. Rand's face changes from the cover to the inside picture.
  12. Egwene on the outside cover is blond. (Everyone except Rand from 2 rivers has dark hair, dark eyes).
  13. The Draghkar is just a bat.
  14. The moon is portrayed with far too many degrees of arc for the sky.
  15. Thom (little itty bitty Thom) is wearing multicolored clothing but not a cloak!
  16. Perrin's ax (see inside picture) is the wrong shape. (See the description in the first chapter: two/halfmoon-blade counterweighted).
  17. Egwene's hair is wrong (should be braided), and so is Moiraine's (should be loose, not in that elaborate 'do).
  18. There's an extra guy in the party! Who is that fellow way at the end? Jain Farstrider?

6.2 TGH: Recapturing the Horn

  1. Rand (changing his face again) is way way too short and stocky. He is also wearing a really gaudy sword belt. His hair, for some reason has gotten a lot of body (perhaps all that Clairol) and seems almost curly,and it is not red. His clothes are totally wrong, too. The sword is supposed to be curved, as is the Shadar Logoth dagger.
  2. Loial's ears are not hairy, way too large and Loial himself is only about four feet tall!. His boots are just awful: what if it rains? He'd walk around with about a gallon or four of extra water in the decorative birdbaths of those boots.
  3. Selene (Lanfear) is wearing one of those dopey dresses -- this one with a ton of elastic banding. Do they have elastic in the third age or is this another lost art of the Age of Legends. She is not very good looking.
  4. Assuming that this is the scene where Rand steals back the horn from Fain, (a) where is the sniffer? (b) why isn't the horn in a box? (c) where is the (big enormous) box? (d) why has Loial brought some pleasure reading for fighting off Trollocs (maybe its Dickens) (e) Why are the Trollocs humans with horns on their helmets? C'mon! (f) Why are Trollocs so short, well armed and well armored? (g) Isn't it the wrong time of night to have just gotten the horn back anyway?

John Hansen adds:

This can only be the scene where Rand steals back the horn. When he and Loial arrive back at their camp, Rand sends Hurin off the "outcrop" to look at the activity down below. The horn is in a large ornate gold chest that is strapped to the saddle of Loial's huge fetlocked horse. Selene reaches up and opens the chest pushing the lid up and letting it fall open. On her tip-toes she reaches into the chest and Rand quickly reaches over her shoulder and lifts the horn out of the chest. It is full night and the moonlight glimmers on the horn (which looks like it was drawn correctly). No Trollocs are anywhere near at this point. After a moment Rand returns the horn to the chest and after further discussion about the curved dagger, he puts it in as well and closes the chest. So, the scene (if accurate) should have a large horse and a gold chest in it.

6.3 TDR: Rand pulls the sword from the air

Click here for the cover

  1. Rand (hair and face changed once AGAIN) is standing in the middle of a large hallway where Callandor hangs mid-air. Isn't this just a little inconvenient? What about dusting the sword or people wandering by every now and then? Don't you think it deserves a room or a niche of its own rather than hanging in the middle of the hallway? [Actually, this is right. It is described as hanging right in the middle of the Heart. - Pam]
  2. Perrin (straight hair now, hair too light, held back in Rambo style but muscles correct) is holding yet another ax -- this a little more correct. Mat in really sissy clothing and wrong hair is looking on as well. Pardon me, but weren't these guys doing something else when Rand was picking up the sword? Weren't Be'lal, Moiraine and Ba'alzamon on hand for the Young-Arthur imitation?
  3. The Aiel here look pretty classy, but the buckler in the book is strictly leather and not this copper stuff. Also, this Aiel has black hair! C'mon: Perrin with light hair, Aiel with black hair and dark complexion?
  4. On the very side of the book is a picture of I suppose Ba'alzamon. Boy is he ugly or what? And wearing that Blue and Purple hat? I wonder what he had to do to pick out something that matched his glowing teeth so well. Why would anyone's teeth glow? Too much fluoride?

6.4 TSR: Breakfast at Ruidhean

  1. Rand's now wearing Perrin's headband and has tied his jacket to his shoulder. Boy that must be uncomfortable! And must keep those orthopedic and reconstructive surgeons real busy. He is again really way too short.
  2. Mat has picked up archery again along with a different face. Archery?
  3. The peddlers seem to have stolen a tinker wagon.
  4. Who's the ugly babe making dinner? Aviendha? Wrong hair. Who else would wear a dress? A blue dress? NO! SAY IT ISN'T MOIRAINE!? Cooking dinner for the Boys?! Sheesh. (It could be Isendre but she is way way way too ugly for that). Anyway, she looks like a monkey.
  5. Who's that leather guy on the left of the wagon? Where did all that leather come from out there in the desert? And check out the toy Trolloc that someone has stuck in the rocks above Rand's right hand shoulder.

6.5 TFoH: Fun in the sun at Caemlyn

Click here for the cover

Erica S:

Well look at TSR. Mat & Rand seem to have switched roles again. At least Aviendha does look pretty pretty but her hair is way way too long. What's the DEAL with the foxhead. Only one eye please and about the size of the palm of the hand. Worn against the skin too so we're not seeing it. Rand is way too short and he's been at the Prell or VO5 again... Mat does NOT have red or reddish hair. EVERYONE (except Rand) from 2-rivers has dark eyes, dark hair. Why are tricksters always supposed to have red hair? Does Mr.Sweet ever read a book?

Pam K:

Of course the cover art is truly awful; although Mr. Sweet finally got the coats right-ish. Rhuidean doesn't look TOO bad; and the Trollocs actually look beast-ish, as opposed to men-with-horns-on-their-helmets (TGH). but, all the people look goofy, esp. Mat w/ his Clint Eastwood hat. Ah well, I suppose I can take the paper bit off. Back to reading!

Jenny Foss:

What is that hat Mat is wearing? He looks like Crocodile Dundee. "That's not a spear! THIS is a spear!"

Tony :

This whole cover art thing has been bothering me since I first layed eyes on the cover of TEotW. Darrell K. Sweet had always been my favorite cover artist! He's done covers for the Lord of the Rings (2 different editions, both which I liked), 2 editions of Thomas Covenant series (all 6), the second of which I thought were incredible; he's done all of Terry Brooks' stuff (I think--most of it anyway). My point is, what's with him? I can hardly tell it's by the same guy! Does anyone know anything about him, and why his work is degenerating so?

For more groovy D.K.Sweet cover art, check out some Piers Anthony books, L. E. Modesitt 's "Recluse" books, some Barbara Hambly books... the man is everywhere!

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