The comments for my recent post on the various covers for Gene Wolfe's book The Shadow of the Torturer were fascinating and very enjoyable to read and reply to. Commenter RF made some fantastic points about manga artist Takeshi Obata's covers for the Japanese edition of Wolfe's New Sun books, which prompted me to search them out again for a closer look. So, in the interest of completion, I have assembled here all five of Obata's covers (he did one for The Urth of the New Sun as well), four surprising covers for the series by Yoshitaka Amano, and the four wraparound covers Joe Kuth mentioned for the British paperback editions. These are by artist Bruce Pennington and are quickly becoming my favorites.
For those not familiar with the series, the titles in order are The Shadow of the Torturer, The Claw of the Conciliator, The Sword of the Lictor, The Citadel of the Autarch and a fifth book, a coda of sorts but one which ties up the series quite well, The Urth of the New Sun. Below, all covers will be posted in that order. First, Obata's covers. These are growing on me. They are so deliriously flawed, yet they get some things so very right. It's disconcerting...
Next, Yoshitaka Amano's covers. These were surprisingly dull and disappointing. Really rote. They almost seem rushed to me, and while each touches on some crucial element from the narrative, they do not excite.
And finally, the four wraparound covers by Bruce Pennington. Of all of the covers I've seen, these seem closest to what I would like to see. They are far from perfect, but I do think they most closely match the tone of the narrative and the world that Wolfe has built.
Many many thanks to everyone who read the previous post and commented. That was great fun.