Friday, August 03, 2007

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My ...

Got a note from an Aliens/Predator fan saying that artist Stephen Youll had put the art for Predator: Turnabout up on his site, so since it's public, I'm posting the cover here.

Good artist, Youll is, I'm pleased with the illo.


Anonymous said...

I don't like it. It doesn't look as impressive as the original, the background is too blurry. :-/

I'm the Alien/Predator fan you mentiomed BTW.

Steve Perry said...

I think that's part of the the point, that the b.g. is blurry -- to give the rack-focus effect of a movie shot.

Anyway, I like it.

(I didn't mention your name because you use an anonymous screen-nom here.)

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for the fact the artwork itself was so nice, the blurriness wouldn't be an issue. It's just such a lovely piece of work.

Steve Perry said...

Would it help to know that the Predator is being viewed through binoculars from fourteen hundred meters away? And that you can't focus on it and the background at the same time ... ?

Anonymous said...

Probably would but the Predator itself is still blurry too :P I just think it's a bit of a dishonor to such a beautiful piece.

Has Rob seen the cover yet?

Steve Perry said...


Steve Perry said...

And, in truth, it doesn't look particularly blurry to me -- you can count individual hairs on the Predator's head, as well as on the dead bear's arm. How much sharper does it need to be? It's a painting, not a photograph.

Had your glasses checked lately ... ?

Anonymous said...


:-O My glasses? XD Just compare the two.

I think, what we have here, is a stalemate. :P

Steve Perry said...

That my .jpg might not be as sharp as the one on Youll's site probably means the cover itself will be a bit sharper when it sees hardcopy; however, from where I sit, it doesn't matter. I like paintings that are Norman Rockwell crisp, but I also like them less so. A matter of taste.

Hardcore fans are going to nitpick any cover that comes out, same way they do the books. (At least, they always have before, and fans are already arguing over how long the Predator's dreadlocks are, so this won't be the first.)

I explained in an interview why writers didn't try to write books to please diehard fans, the basic reason being that you *can't* possibly please them all.

Make this guy happy, you irritate that guy over there. It's a variation of Lincoln's Dictum -- You can't please all the of the people all of the time. Not gonna happen.

So, as a writer, first you please yourself; then your editor; then you hope you can please enough readers who'll buy the book to make it viable.

Trying to make happy the guy who knows what color the lint is in the Predator's pocket last Tuesday? Or the other one who knows the first guy is full of crap, that it's not blue, but green?

These guys will chew this to death forever.

Not gonna please 'em, and no point in even trying.

Anonymous said...

Me thinks you went off on a little tangent there. I wasn't talking about the novel itself. I'm not gonna say anything until I read the thing. I'm only commenting on the job they did adding the text onto the cover. :P

Steve Perry said...

Not really, no. Go look at the fan sites -- including yours -- and already people are pissing and moaning about the look of the predator on the cover. They don't like his dreads, his armor, his face, yadda, yadda.

Of course, this is allowed, but it bespeaks my point. Doesn't matter what the artist draws or the writer writes, flak is incoming.

If I get into the predator's head, one group will love it, another group will hate it. If I stay outside his head, same-same.

I assume Rob has seen the cover, him being the guy who hires the artist and tells him what to draw and all ...

Anonymous said...

What can I say? Your rooted into the Alien/Predator franchise. You yourself should know better than most how rabid the fanbase is. Especially since it was yourself who started off the massive Predator fanbase movement.

It's what you get when you deal with such a beloved franchise. It's why they want Paul Anderson's head on a stick. You fuck around with such iconic creatures, you get stick.

Not that I'm saying you or Stephen has fucked around. As I have said numerous times, I love the original artwork. I think it's Stephen's best yet. It just so happens he uses the latest designs for the creatures which I have seen described as "turds with legs".

Personally I love this artwork. I think what he's done to fix Anderson's crappy design is amazing and it looks fantastic. My quim was just with the way the final cover obscured the beauty of it.

How we got to here, I'm unsure...

Steve Perry said...

Harlan Ellison tells a great story about how Dan Blocker, who played Hoss Cartwright on the old Bonanza TV series, was once doing a promotional appearance at a rodeo.

A little old lady walked up to him and said, "You, know, you need to get rid of that Chinese cook Hop-Sing, and get a woman to cook for you on the Ponderosa."

She was, Blocker said, dead serious.

He said, "Ma'am, you understand that Bonanza is just a television show, don't you? That Lorne Greene and Michael Landon and Pernell Roberts and I are actors? We don't really live on the Ponderosa."

The woman nodded. "Uh huh. But you really ought to fire that Chinese guy and and get a woman to cook for you ..."

She truly didn't get it.

I've had people tell me, deadly serious, "Oh, no, Princess Leia would *never* do that!"

There is no Princess Leia in the real world. She's a whole-cloth fantasy, created and shaped by writers, directors, artists, and an actor.

Same deal with the Aliens, Predators, and Ellen Ripley.

The reason there are AvP comics, books and movies is because Chris Warner had an epiphany -- story is, while he was using the toilet -- and then came out told Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley, with whom he was having a brainstorm session.

While most of the A, P, or AvP fans I've met are nice folks, and reasonable, some of them live in a world of their own, and my point when they open up on me is that writers and artists can't write or draw just for them -- there's no future in it.

Crazy Penguin Maniac said...

Nice cover. Wonder if we'll ever get Dave Dorman back for the Aliens, or hell, John Bolton - The recent cover for Criminal Enterprise is ... uninspiring.

But as far as Predator covers go, this is one of the better ones. Ever see Cold War's? Geez, what were they thinking.