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Feast Your Eyes on Robert McGinnis’ New Covers for Neil Gaiman’s Early Paperbacks

Saturday, September 24th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

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I know I’m not the only one out there who’s purchased a new edition of a favorite book just because I loved the new cover.

And I’ll definitely be getting in line to pick up the new mass market paperback editions of Neil Gaiman’s American GodsNeverwhereAnansi Boys, and Stardust, all gorgeously rendered by famous paperback 50s artist Robert McGinnis, who’s now in his 90s but still doing brilliant work. Neil takes about how the new covers came about on his blog:

About a year ago, Jennifer Brehl and I were talking. Jennifer is my editor at William Morrow… I went off about how paperback covers used to be beautiful, and were painted, and told you so much. And how much I missed the covers of the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s, the ones I’d collected and bought back in the dawn of time. And somehow the conversation wound up with me asking if Harper Collins would publish a set of mass market paperbacks of my books with gloriously retro covers and Jennifer saying that yes, they would….

I sent a note to Jennifer asking if there was even the slightest possibility that Mr McGinnis would be interested in painting the covers for the paperback set we wanted to do. He said yes. I say that so blithely. But he has retired, pretty much, and he doesn’t have email, and it was only because the Morrow art director had worked with him, and he was intrigued by the commission… and ROBERT MCGINNIS SAID YES.

Neil has been talking about each cover in more detail on Tumblr. Check it out here.

The new mass market paperback edition of American Gods was published August 16, Stardust arrives on September 27, Anansi Boys on October 25, and Neverwhere on November 29. All four covers are painted by Robert E McGinnis, with lettering by Todd Klein. Click the images above for bigger versions.

8 Comments »

  1. Awesome work – McGinnis fairly recently did some covers for Max Allan Colins’ Quarry books, for Hard Case Crime, that are just as good.

    Comment by Thomas Parker - September 24, 2016 4:38 pm

  2. Parker beat me to it. I was also going to give a plug for Hard Case Crime books. McGinnis is excellent at providing much nostalgic flare.

    I can really relate to Gaiman’s remarks. These photograph, or photographic-like, characters on covers, usually in tight leather/pleather with tattoos do not really inspire me to read them.

    That said, I’m all for getting teens and twenty-somethings into reading more SF&F. If those kinds of covers do it, so be it.

    Comment by James McGlothlin - September 24, 2016 5:01 pm

  3. Yeah, Collins said one of the ways Hard Case got him to come back to writing about the Quarry character was to suggest that if he did, McGinnis would paint the cover.
    Man, must be nice…

    Comment by John Hocking - September 24, 2016 5:03 pm

  4. Fantasitc! I love the warmth and tone of these covers.

    Comment by CMR - September 24, 2016 6:39 pm

  5. > Awesome work – McGinnis fairly recently did some covers for Max Allan Colins’ Quarry books, for Hard Case Crime, that are just as good.

    Thomas,

    You know, I should have realized that. All this time I thought they were the work of a brilliant pastiche artist!

    Comment by John ONeill - September 24, 2016 11:21 pm

  6. > Yeah, Collins said one of the ways Hard Case got him to come back to writing about the
    > Quarry character was to suggest that if he did, McGinnis would paint the cover.
    > Man, must be nice…

    Yous can say that again!

    Comment by John ONeill - September 24, 2016 11:22 pm

  7. This is the very reason I do what I do, unfortunately too few appreciate the reason for it and the beauty older artwork brings to the world…

    Comment by Scott Taylor - September 25, 2016 11:51 am

  8. Wow!

    I love these old covers, and I love McGinnis’ work.

    I wonder — could this finally be the push we need to get away from the photoshopped covers that have dominated the market for too long?

    Comment by Managing Editor Howard Andrew Jones - September 28, 2016 11:37 am


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