Cover Art for A MEMORY OF LIGHT by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Boom.

Late last week, with the unfinished artwork for Darrell K. Sweet’s painting for the cover of A Memory of Light, the final volume in Robert Jordan’s legendary Wheel of Time series, many of you suggested that it might be the best cover in the series. Well, is it?

23 thoughts on “Cover Art for A MEMORY OF LIGHT by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson?”

  1. Justin says:

    This should be the cover. Screw having Whelan or anyone else doing another version.

  2. Carl Duzett says:

    Nope!

    The “L” from “Light” is way too close to the body, crowding what is obviously supposed to be the central focus of the cover. And the clouds look really unnatural (I know that’s sort of the point, but it doesn’t look magical or interesting or cool; just kind of weird.)

    THE EYE OF THE WORLD and CROSSROADS OF TWILIGHT had much better covers.

  3. Todd says:

    Yeah that’s looks pretty darn good…with some polish (or not) that could have been used. Kind of a shame…

  4. Plus Aviendha, Elayne and Nynaeve need to be better differentiated. The cover, while among Mr. Sweet’s better works and matching the rest of the series’, isn’t perfect.

    Mr. Whelan is an incredibly talented guy (Way of Kings cover, anyone? ) and I am sure he will do justice to the final book.

  5. neth says:

    Best in the series?

    I’m very bad with absolutes, so I don’t think I can say as such. But certainly among the best. It’s probably the thematically powerful.

    And it’s much better than the last several covers. Certainly good enough to use as is for the cover (at least in my opinion). I think that would be the most appropriate thing for Tor to do – stick with Whelan for the ebook (and likely the new issues that will probably be forthcoming).

  6. Jon Moss says:

    While I like (and ‘grew up with’) Sweet’s covers (WoT and Recluce series), I much prefer Michael Whelan’s art.

    Still, this unfinished color sketch submitted by Sweet is some of his best work. Perhaps it could be included in the hardcover as a backplate?

  7. Tom Lloyd says:

    Curious that most people seem to like it – I hate it! Mind you, I think I’ve hated all the Jordan cover art I’ve ever seen so maybe no surprise there!

  8. Scott says:

    As far as Sweet’s covers go (most of them are garbage IMNSHO), this one isn’t horrible…merely meh…but to be honest, I’ll be glad when all the books have the newer eBook art on the print versions. Which I hear they are doing.

    …Whelan is just a superior artist and it shows in his work. ALL his work. And come on, show the guy a little respect…TOR commissioned him to do the cover for the print version…how would it make any of you feel to see people saying, “TOR should use this UNFINISHED Sweet cover…and the one they commissioned from Whelan ends up on the eBook only?” How disrespectful. No, Whelan’s art should be used as was previously established in the summer, and I’d say that the unfinished Sweet piece could be on an inner dust jacket page as a tribute, nothing more.

    @Justin: If you think that Sweet would have wanted his unfinished art on the cover posthumously, you clearly didn’t know much about the man. He was notorious for loathing when unfinished pieces leaked onto the internet (Case in point TGS cover draft art)

  9. BCsmith says:

    Wait… what is it about whelan that makes him a grand jewal in every fantasy fan’s eye (the WOK cover, while cool, might as well could have been drawn for a terry brooks novel, its that generic).

  10. BCsmith says:

    Damn. that’s JEWEL. Sorry

  11. Paige Vest says:

    While I think the Sweet cover has that Wheel of Time feel, I also feel that an unfinished cover shouldn’t be featured. I’m happy with the decision to use Whelan’s art as the print cover but I think it would be cool if Tor could print this Sweet cover on the inside of the Whelan cover, so that people buying the book could switch it to the Sweet cover if they so choose.

  12. pnorl says:

    Until we see the Whelan cover I’m refusing to cast a vote. The Sweet cover does tie in great with all the previous art which is why I would have found it ideal to use it. I know the pain of having to grow accustomed to different publishing houses, or artists for that matter, mid-series and this feels kind of the same.

    Lets hope Whelan can do a great homage maybe, that ties in with Sweet’s more old school-style..?

  13. Aidan Moher says:

    You don’t pay Michael Whelan to do an homage. He’ll create the same painting that was planned for the eBook, with some slight alterations to incorporate the traditional Wheel of Time cover layout.

    I have every confidence that Whelan will do an amazing job.

  14. Justin says:

    @Scott

    I get it, but I’m not a fan of changing art direction in a series. I’d prefer to see Sweet’s cover of the book. And then a rerelease of the entire series with the new covers.

  15. Nobody says:

    Unfortunately there are some continuity errors on the Sweet draft; there were several things they wanted him to correct in later drafts. I have seen the Whelan cover, and it’s fantastic, partly because it’s Whelan, and partly because Whelan *did* choose to do a tribute of sorts. He incorporated a few elements of Sweet’s style into his painting, and thus there is no real change of art direction. The cover fits.

  16. Aidan Moher says:

    Gah, what I’d give to get an early look at that cover.

  17. Nobody says:

    It will be soon. They were originally going to unveil it at JordanCon, but changed their minds when DKS Jr. decided to come to the art show with all his father’s original paintings, including the draft for AMOL.

  18. Aidan Moher says:

    I wondered what the story was there. Seemed a little early for Tor to reveal DKS’s painting, especially because it opened the doors for a mockup like this one to be made and compared against Whelan’s on release. I think, either way, some people were always going to be content and others not, no matter the decision made on the artist chosen for the physical novels.

  19. Nobody says:

    This is true. For the person earlier who mentioned they’d like to see Sweet’s draft on the inside cover, that’s not going to happen according to Irene Gallo, Tor’s art director. They think it would be unfair to both artists.

  20. Scott says:

    I will add my Gah to Aidan’s, in wanting to see Whelan’s cover. Cannot wait!

    @Justin. I was razzing you. :P

    @BKSmith – I think you are under the assumption that Whelan has only done WoK cover or something, he actually has a huge gallery of cover art (and technically came out of retirement to do both WoK and AMOL), and damn near all his pieces are gorgeous!

  21. pnorl says:

    Justin April 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm @Scott
    I get it, but I’m not a fan of changing art direction in a series. I’d prefer to see Sweet’s cover of the book. And then a rerelease of the entire series with the new covers.

    Nobody April 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm Unfortunately there are some continuity errors on the Sweet draft; there were several things they wanted him to correct in later drafts. I have seen the Whelan cover, and it’s fantastic, partly because it’s Whelan, and partly because Whelan *did* choose to do a tribute of sorts. He incorporated a few elements of Sweet’s style into his painting, and thus there is no real change of art direction. The cover fits.

    This. Sounds like a good thing.

  22. Gabe says:

    I like this draft as is and think the idea of including it as a backplate in the hardcover is genius.

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