Want Some Art?

I’m researching, reading about, reveling in, and reviewing cover art as I write the chapter for The Book (current working title: OMG The Whole Genre? What the Crack was I Smoking?) about covers, and lookee what I found:

Wanna own some Harlequin art from the 90’s? Sure you do! (The pleated Mom jeans are killing me, btw. OMG.) Four pieces by artist Gary McLaughlin are on sale now, ready for your bidding pleasure.

Seriously, am I the only one who wants to buy a few choice Zebra covers from the neon & pastels era, with big hair, bigger boob, and biggest mantitty, and hang those puppies up in my house? I am? Good. Less competition for me. To the eBay!

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  1. 1
    rachel says:

    you know I never thought about it before- but owning a cover is actually pretty appealling.
    Perfect for bathroom walls :)

  2. 2
    Danielle says:

    Ahahaha, the pleated jeans! (And is it just me, or are their heads too big for their bodies?)

    I don’t know what that book is actually about, but as a guess, I’d say that she’s a scientist who’s finally managed to build the man of her dreams. Cue angst re forbidden robot love…

  3. 3

    Oh, man, this calls for Le Dialogue!

    Him. “I have in this envelope your father’s sister’s uncle’s dead brother’s will bequeathing you his entire fleet of small fishing boats. ONLY if you agree to carry my secret baby.”

    Her. “But…but… How can you?! You vile, odious, dirty old man to whom I feel strangely drawn yet repulsed. Oh, please, don’t make me beat my tiny, emaciated fists on your rock-hard chest of stoical masculinity. Give me the envelope. Please!”

    Him. “Now, now, no grabbing. Just say I do or the ships get it. See for yourself, I’ve already had one blown up.”

  4. 4
    Leah says:

    I am actually eagerly awaiting the return of mom jeans.  Becoming a mom took away my ability to wear the other kind.  The painting are nice, but I can’t imagine it would be a good idea to hang works entitled “The Reluctant Husband” or “The Expectant Mistress” in my house!

    spaminator:  account61….yeah I know, I know, I can’t afford it anyway!

  5. 5

    Have you come across Jennifer McKnight-Trontz’s The Look of Love: The Art of the Romance Novel (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002) yet? There’s a short description (and links to some of the covers) here and Amazon’s got a look inside feature.

    On the topic of cover art, have you seen the Mills & Boon jigsaw puzzle featuring lots of different covers? It’s here.

  6. 6
    fiveandfour says:

    Wow, I know I read the book that goes with that second cover.  I picked it up at the grocery store on one of those tables for charity where the minimum price was a quarter per book.  I seem to recall thinking I was glad I hadn’t paid more for the book, but damn if I can remember what the book was called!

    There was an artist named Biddle who worked for Harlqeuin in an impressionistic style back in the 1980s-1990s.  I recall liking those covers and probably wouldn’t mind seeing them in their original form.  But still, I can’t quite see myself using those images to decorate my space.  I don’t know if that’s because I have too many associations with those kinds of images to see them as art or if I’m evaluating them as art and find they aren’t my style.

  7. 7

    Cover art can be a real stepping stone for an artist.  I was passing an art gallery in Boca Raton last summer and saw an exhibit by Pino, who did many of the 80’s romance covers.  I especially remember his work for the Amanda Quick step-back editions.

    And when it comes to fantasy cover artists, there have been times I’ve been tempted to mortgage my children to own a piece of original Thomas Canty art.

  8. 8
    Tae says:

    It’d be fun to have something like that for my library.  I’d be up for buying some of Suzanne Brockmann’s old covers, but then she is one of my favorite authors.

  9. 9
    Mary Stella says:

    I’m fortunate to own the original cover art for an old romance novel from the famed Angelique series by Sergeanne Golon.  Angelique and the Duke to be exact.  Years and years ago, a friend of mine freelanced for the publishing company when they were cleaning out a bunch of stored items.  Staff was invited to take what they wanted.  She’d never read the series but loved this particular piece.  It is so beautifully drawn and colored that you can see the sumptuous texture of Angelique’s gown.  Anyway, years later, when I rededicated myself to working on a novel, my friend decided that I was the person meant to own this art and she gave it to me.  It’s so beautiful.

  10. 10
    Alison says:

    0 bids?!  The travesty!

    Laura Vivanco, thanks so much for that book info.  I put it right smack dab at #1 on my wish list.

  11. 11
    Mary Stella says:

    I’m not so exact.  I cited the wrong book title for the cover art that I own!  It’s the Temptation of Angelique.  Argggh!

  12. 12
    Kelly says:

    Darlene – I’d offer up my cats, but I’m pretty sure a couple of fuzzy vomit cannons aren’t going to get me the money I need. Cantry is a modern day Mucha. Le sigh..

  13. 13
    Voodoo Chile says:

    Oh My Lord! This cover takes me back big time. I sure as hell wouldn’t pay though. Love the big hair and pleated jeans. LMAO!

  14. 14
    Accupril says:

    Very interesting article. I think I will become your constant reader.

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