Cover Art-which is best?

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Nick
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Cover Art-which is best?

Post by Nick » Mon 22 Oct, 2007 12:02:55

I mean which representation of Wheatley charactors is most accurate to your own vision.
The earliest paperback representation of the Duke is pretty close to how I see him (Forbidden territitory) however the seventies re-issue of Three inquisitive people makes him look as if he has just entered Mastermind. Rex appears like a James Bond charactor, in all but one cover, and in one of the Hutchinson paper backs the three inquistive people look like they have just returned from a Fred Astaire movie set as dancing extras.
Some of the Sallust representations are not too bad, but I'm convinced the Artist who tried Brook and Julian Day had a quick phone call from the publisher and never read a word of the books. Well it's a bit of fun! Which book comes out tops for the best representation of charactor or story?

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Post by Alan » Tue 23 Oct, 2007 11:36:19

Well, just to answer this in an unorthodox way, I find the covers that DON'T attempt to portray the characters are best. I first discovered DW in the Arrow editions, with covers that were basically a "still-life" grouping of objects relevant to the story. I "know" exactly what Le Duc, Gregory Sallust, Mocata, etc look like, for I've seen them in my imagination. Any artist who tried to draw them could only be "wrong".

Interestingly enough, as a youngster, whenever Grauber was "on stage" in the Sallust books, I always saw him as looking exactly like the character "Grimly Feendish" from Wham/Smash comics... oops, guess I'm showing my age there! And Sabine was the dead spit of a sexy model that was featured in a toothpaste ad at the time. Erika looked exactly like a gorgeous girl (called "Erica") I knew at school, and Marie-Lou looked just like my geography teacher. You just can't get that degree of customization with computer games... :D

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Post by Garry Holmes » Sat 27 Oct, 2007 00:16:49

Come to think of it, I'm not certain that I've ever really had strong visual images of any of DW's characters. When I have some pre- set picture in mind, such as an actor from a film/tv version or a strong illustration, then that tends to become the character in my mind. I'd never seen anything based on DW before I read THE FORBIDDEN TERRITORY, so they remained more or less faceless. When I saw the Lymington edition of THREE INQUISITIVE PEOPLE, I sort of adopted the pictures of Duke, Rex and Simon as my mental image. In some ways it a shame that DW never had his own Sidney Paget, like Conan Doyle did for his Sherlock Holmes stories.

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Post by Steve Whatley » Wed 31 Oct, 2007 21:54:07

I think I tend to form my own mental images of the characters - looking at the covers, there's not a lot there to help us. I try to remember DW's descriptions of various characters, but the more detail he gives, the less I seem to remember, so the more my idea differs from what was intended!

The cover which presumably bears the the closest likeness to what DW had in mind is Diana Younger's Gregory Sallust on the first edition of The Scarlet Imposter. But although I know Sallust is not a young man, this character looks far too old to indulge in all of Gregory's exploits! He looks better suited to an office job.

I agree with Nick's remark about the three refugees from a Fred Astaire film. I think the film of The Devil Rides Out may have contributed to my images of some of the characters; Richard Eaton must surely have something of Paul Eddington in him, and Simon could well have a touch of the Patrick Mowers about him, but I'm afraid Christopher Lee - wonderful though he is - is just too tall for the Duke.

Grauber I always picture as Goering, only fatter and uglier.

I have to say that most of the cover images of The Eunuch of Stamboul show a laughable figure - not the menacing villain that he should be.

And I don't know who the bearded character on the front of The Secret War is meant to be, but from 1937 to 1963 he doesn't seem to change - all the artists must have had the same sitter.

(Yes, I've just been looking through the Cover Art section.)

As to Roger Brook, I actually try not to think about the ridiculous wigs and (cringe) beauty-spots he wears in many of the books.

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Post by Nick » Fri 2 Nov, 2007 12:40:53

Can you get Fatter or Uglier than Goering? Well there's Prescott I suppose...Enough of that! I agree the DRO film influenced my mental image as well. It actualy comes as a shock when DW reveals some detail that just isnt there in your mind, for instance Tanith wearing a hat whilst fleeing from the Police over Salisbury plain. By the way is The Bear at Hungerford a real pub and is it still there?

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Post by Garry Holmes » Fri 2 Nov, 2007 23:49:23

If we go by the description from the books, then the Duke looks less like Christopher Lee and more like Peter Cushing.

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Post by Nick » Sat 3 Nov, 2007 11:29:08

True but Lee has a more aristocratic air and a commanding voice. I'm sure there could be a modern actor that would bring the same presence to the role but I can not think of one.

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Post by Charles » Sat 3 Nov, 2007 18:26:15

I have long wondered the same thing.

Christopher Lee would be a hard act to follow.

The best I can come up with - and it's an odd suggestion if you've only seen his other movies - is Johnny Depp.

He was marvellous in "The Ninth Gate" if you watched that film.

Any more thoughts from anyone on a possible Convention ? I'm monitoring that section ...

All the best
Charles

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