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The Blighted City- Book Cover.

Scott Kaelen's Epic Fantasy is finally ready to pre-order! This means I can finally show the book cover I had been working on for this book in the series. More information about the book and the author is available here. There is a free short story that provides a neat introduction to his world here.

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Illustrating the darkest black (aka the Gene Wolfe problem)

The brilliant and often underappreciated writer Gene Wolfe coined the world 'Fuligin'.

'Furthermore, the hue fuligin, which is darker than black, admirably erases all folds, bunchings, and gatherings so far as the eye is concerned, showing only a featureless dark.' - The Shadow of The Torturer, 1980.

The good people of Alzabo Soup in their commentary about the book talked about how the book covers failed to convey the concept of the darkest black - a shade so dark that it reflects no light. Here are two front covers of the book. One of them is more abstract than the other. In the more realistic illustration below, one can make out the dimensions and folds of the cloak. In doing this, the illustrator probably chose to represent the phemonemon of darkest black in more relatable terms and let the text guide the imagination of the reader.


In my rather crude paintover, I eliminated all the folds and presented the cloak as experienced by viewers. However, pursuing this option …