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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Les Petersen - what’s REALLY behind that cover?

Les Petersen is the artist who has been behind many an ASIM  cover, including my favourite, #12, in which I had an Arthurian story, and he did a gorgeous King Arthur for the cover.Since then, he had a great career as a book cover artist, but the really unfair thing is that he can WRITE as well as illustrate!
In this post, he tells us what was behind his cover for Light Touch Paper.
Why the cover of LTP? What was its inspiration?  I suppose part of it is a memory image of a black powder weapon display from years (decades) ago – where they actually used touch paper – that morphed into  the idea of a guy (almost a Bacchus/Pan figure, really) sitting on a cannon and celebrating the powerful creative explosion. It’s a fairly phallic image, of course, especially if you consider the explosion of a world from the loins. Heck, I even doubled the phallus - look at where the lightning would be funnelled by the staff. And the spray of the wine. Tch tch tch! (Years of counselling have been wasted; or much more is required).

But it doesn’t take away from the playfulness of the image. It’s fun and frivolous and slightly naughty. Putting the characters on top of a tower/rocket and adding the fantasy and scifi elements just came naturally to the imagination – part of the requirements for the anthology – there’s even a bit of steam punk in the shape of the rocket. No horror, though, it just wouldn’t have fitted in.  Interestingly, if you look at the fantasy archer, she’s looking down (or backwards in ‘flight time”), searching for a lost arrow, maybe. The guy is looking to the future, to space, to creation – in a somewhat drunken haze maybe – and the only one really looking at us is the Grey Alien, and who really knows when we’ll ever meet them. I had a bit of fun with that.

SO, it was a bit of fun and I’m glad everyone likes it.
If you’d like to check out some more of Les’s art, go to his gallery, here.

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