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Old Oct 2 2015, 12:37 PM   #1
tatiana
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Default New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

Just found out this morning that artist Eric Deschamps has created new illustrations for the Harper Hall trilogy which look geared more toward middle grade/younger YA readers. Yes, I noticed that these are wyvern-style dragons and do seem influenced in some part (those wing patterns) by Cameron's movie "Avatar" -- maybe. But I think it will intrigue new readers for Anne McCaffrey and Pern. Regardless, the first image released looks lovely! Can't wait to see the other two.



If the above link doesn't work, you can see it on his FB page:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
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Old Oct 3 2015, 01:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

The only problem with 'Menolly' is that she wasn't wearing a dress when she was on her own: she got mistaken for a 'lad'.
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Old Oct 3 2015, 12:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

Eric later posted some of his concept sketches for the project (can see via the FB link in the original post above), and she was wearing a tunic and trousers there. I'm not sure why he didn't have that also in the final illustration. *shrug*
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Old Oct 10 2015, 09:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

the fire lizards are missing their front legs and their colors are off. Do the people who draw these covers actually read the books?
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Old Oct 10 2015, 10:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

Here's a quote from the artist when I asked Eric about some of his thinking behind the firelizard redesigns:

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"I only went with what was described in these 3 books. I wanted them to be unique and less like the dragon lizards depicted in the 70's and 80's.The designs of the dragons are a mix of birds, lizards and pteranodons. You'll see more of the pteranodon wings influence on the Dragondrums cover."
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Old Oct 10 2015, 02:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

What on Earth did the publishers tell him to paint? "Teenage girl standing on seashore with nine small brightly-coloured dragons flying over her head"?

And is he actually claiming that he's read the Harper Hall series, where the colors of Menolly's fire-lizards are listed and they're described using their fore-paws?
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Old Oct 10 2015, 03:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

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Originally Posted by Eriflor View Post
What on Earth did the publishers tell him to paint? "Teenage girl standing on seashore with nine small brightly-coloured dragons flying over her head"?

And is he actually claiming that he's read the Harper Hall series, where the colors of Menolly's fire-lizards are listed and they're described using their fore-paws?
I did a quick search of my old pb copy of Dragonsong when the artwork was originally shared on FB and couldn't find specific mention of firelizard forelegs, unfortunately. However, the book does state that the firelizards were exact copies of the much larger dragons, so there's that.

As a stand-alone illustration, the artwork is lovely IMO. It's just not Pern specific. And just an FYI, I did ask and found out that this new edition will be targeted to younger audiences and new readers rather than general SFF or YA/teen readers who may already be fans of Pern and its dragonriders.

On the other hand, there's always the option to complain to the publisher if there's issue with the latest edition's cover art.
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Old Oct 10 2015, 06:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

While I do admit they're very pretty, the firelizards are WAY off- and Menolly in a dress (to be fair though, she had a dress in one of the old covers too). O_o *sigh* I've also been seeing the "missing forelegs" thing happen a lot with dragons in movies after Reign of Fire. At least Eragon and the Dragonheart series got it right! Ok, and yes How to Train Your Dragon had both kinds but they had several species in there so I'm ok with that.

I don't know why but it just really bothers me. >_< Harry Potter's dragons were designed as wyverns for the movie! So was Smuag! And now the firelizards?! Please tell me they'll at least get the number of limbs right for the Dragonriders of Pern movie!
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Old Oct 11 2015, 04:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

Ooh! I forgot that they'd made progress on the movie front - don't suppose anything new has been released?

As for the cover ... pretty, and I do quite like it in and of itself, but it isn't what I'd have automatically pictured if someone said 'new Menolly covers'.

Does anyone else think Menolly looks very young here as well? I don't know if anything is said in the books but I always pictured her as sort of 14-16. Here she looks more 8-12.
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Old Oct 11 2015, 02:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tatiana View Post
I did a quick search of my old pb copy of Dragonsong when the artwork was originally shared on FB and couldn't find specific mention of firelizard forelegs, unfortunately. However, the book does state that the firelizards were exact copies of the much larger dragons, so there's that.

As a stand-alone illustration, the artwork is lovely IMO. It's just not Pern specific. <snipped>

On the other hand, there's always the option to complain to the publisher if there's issue with the latest edition's cover art.
The references are few and far between and easy to miss on a quick skim-through. We early Pern-fans already have a correct visualisation of the firelizards complete with forelegs, so even when the forelegs aren't specifically mentioned we "see" them.

In Chapter 4, where the firelizard queen gets Menolly to help her save the eggs, it says she rolled an egg "with her forelegs". Four paragraphs later, "the little queen appeared, one front talon resting proprietarily on the egg".

In the course of the novels, they do a lot of things that would be difficult or impossible with only one set of legs. The rear legs are probably more designed for perching (and occasionally attacking people) --- and the ones on these new dragonets don't even look good for that. Actually those little claws on the wings might be good for climbing up trees or clinging to walls (bats have something similar but I'm not sure what they use it for).
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Old Oct 11 2015, 02:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

Menolly tells Felena (at the Weyr) that she's fifteen (DragonSong, Chapter 11).

On the first page of the novel Yanus thinks of her as "too tall and lanky to be a proper girl", and elsewhere she's described as "tall and strong". The girl in the artwork looks quite delicate.
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Old Oct 11 2015, 04:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

I would say that the colours of the lizards are good. The lizards and dragons would not be monochromatic, and would have distinctive markings (like the blue lizard above her right hand) making them easy to identify.
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Old Oct 11 2015, 07:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

But, didn't Anne say that dragons and firelizards don't have those kinds of markings? At least, not so distinct? I'm not really sure... This is what I found she said about it:

Quote:
. . . Their skins tend to look slightly mottled, as if someone had cleaned a paint brush in whatever and the various colors have allowable shades...as in red hair or even brunette. Or the various shades a bay horse can be. . . .
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Old Oct 12 2015, 08:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

It's far from the worst Pern cover I have ever seen.
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Old Oct 13 2015, 10:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

The poor firelizards look like the spent the night perched in Inglewood and got tagged
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Old Oct 14 2015, 10:15 PM   #16
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

I direct you back to this thread: http://forums.srellim.org/showthread.php?t=1016

Example: http://francois.labarbarie.free.fr/c...ages/mdopi.jpg

Seriously. It could be so. Much. Worse.
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Old Nov 7 2015, 01:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

I'm not in love with the firelizards either but this does capture the spirit of the book very well.
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Old Nov 9 2015, 03:13 AM   #18
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

Six hundred percent true to Pern or not, I'm absolutely enchanted with the vibe it gives off [because actually, it's the same vibe I got from reading the Harper Hall Trilogy the first time -- funny that], not to mention the fact that it's a stunning piece of art-work.

Seriously, I can think of at least two or three other 'Pern' covers I'd tear apart before this one. And they have the attached front legs y'all are not liking the absence of here.
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Old Nov 9 2015, 11:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragongirl View Post
Six hundred percent true to Pern or not, I'm absolutely enchanted with the vibe it gives off [because actually, it's the same vibe I got from reading the Harper Hall Trilogy the first time -- funny that], not to mention the fact that it's a stunning piece of art-work.

Seriously, I can think of at least two or three other 'Pern' covers I'd tear apart before this one. And they have the attached front legs y'all are not liking the absence of here.
Case in point: : http://francois.labarbarie.free.fr/c...ages/mdopi.jpg

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...4,203,200_.jpg Or how about that one? Really, this might not be book-accurate, but it's pretty, it's whimsical, it's joyful, and it's WAY WAY BETTER than many previous covers.
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Old Nov 12 2015, 02:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

If you combine the lizards in the cover art with Rex from Primeval (http://www.kcet.org/shows/primeval/a...mages/rex1.jpg), you might get the best idea of a fire lizard.
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Old Nov 21 2015, 02:48 AM   #21
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

Hello everyone. So interesting to hear everyones thoughts on my cover art. I absolutely loved reading this book. One of my favorite reads of all time for sure. I thought you might be interested in hearing how I approached the cover. There has been a ton of covers to these books over the years so I didn't want to repeat what had already been done. I purposefully tried not to look at too much of them actually. I focused on capturing the essence of this book to me personally. I wanted to capture the musical nature of Menolly and her beautiful and delicate firelizards as well as the tenderness the book exudes despite all of the rejection and isolation Menolly endures. A standard dragon body type and plain colored wings wasn't taking the imagery to where I wanted it to be. Also, in the story the firelizards felt so bird-like to me. That is where the elimination of the forelimbs came from. I also thought it fit in well with the scene where the mother has such trouble moving the eggs. I understand that it may frustrate some readers when the imagery is not an exact replication of the wording in the text but if I can get the right feeling across to this new younger audience then I feel it is a success!

Thanks for your honest thoughts everyone!
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Old Nov 21 2015, 02:10 PM   #22
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Default Re: New Covers for Harper Hall trilogy

The firelizard queen had trouble lifting the eggs because they were heavy, and too close to hatching to risk going between with them --- none of the other firelizards were strong enough to help her lift them.

It's well established in the Pern novels that the firelizards and several other species had 6 limbs, in one form or another.

It is a very pretty cover, though.
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Old Dec 12 2015, 04:58 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deschampsart View Post
Hello everyone. So interesting to hear everyones thoughts on my cover art. I absolutely loved reading this book. One of my favorite reads of all time for sure. I thought you might be interested in hearing how I approached the cover. There has been a ton of covers to these books over the years so I didn't want to repeat what had already been done. I purposefully tried not to look at too much of them actually. I focused on capturing the essence of this book to me personally. I wanted to capture the musical nature of Menolly and her beautiful and delicate firelizards as well as the tenderness the book exudes despite all of the rejection and isolation Menolly endures. A standard dragon body type and plain colored wings wasn't taking the imagery to where I wanted it to be. Also, in the story the firelizards felt so bird-like to me. That is where the elimination of the forelimbs came from. I also thought it fit in well with the scene where the mother has such trouble moving the eggs. I understand that it may frustrate some readers when the imagery is not an exact replication of the wording in the text but if I can get the right feeling across to this new younger audience then I feel it is a success!

Thanks for your honest thoughts everyone!
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