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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Urban Fantasy Cover Art: I Kill Demons With No Clothes On


One thing I've noticed about urban fantasy book covers is that apparently—all the characters are women and they dress in miniskirts and stilettos, are allergic to shirts that actually fit over their belly button, and are in love with latex or pleather.

I love book covers. I'll be the first to admit that what draws me initially to a book is its cover (and yes, I know that authors have zero input on the cover art). I've randomly picked up books in a bookstore based solely on the artwork on the cover.



Except that all of the shmexy urban fantasy skirt-clad, half-arm holding a sword, bare back showin' faceless women really puts me off picking up that book. I mean, good grief. How are these women getting around, much less holding swords or daggers? Have you ever worn skirts that tight or that short and obviously made of pleather or some other latex get up? The only thing they'd be doing in those is tugging down their skirts to cover up certain nether-regions, failing to run very fast, or walking a bit like Morticia in the Addams Family. Have you ever seen those silly young girls going to the clubs while spending the entire night tugging up the tube top, down the miniskirt, and walking barefoot at the end of the night because the high heels hurt like hell and gave them blisters? (And yes, I've been the aforementioned silly young girl).



And what about those high heels and the guns? I don't begrudge a girl strapping on some stilettos to make her feel good if she's planning to sit for most of the night, and I don't even judge her too harshly for being an avid member of the NRA or reciting the Second Amendment like a psalm. Bare midriffs abound, but you have to wonder where they're hiding their armory and if they get cold showing that much skin. Also, most of these women are so petite/tiny/delicate looking that you wonder if they'd get knocked on their ass if they bothered to shoot...well, anything, much less the AK-47 they have strapped on their rather exposed bare back.

Honestly, I'd pick up an urban fantasy in a split second if the woman on the cover looked anything like Ripley kicking Alien ass, or was obviously dripping blood, or otherwise looked like she'd been through hell rather than looking like she'd just stepped out of the salon with her $500 haircut and designer pumps (Oh, this old gun? It goes with my ensemble! Aren't I tooooo cute?). I can honestly say that when I meet those salon-going, spend-half-their-pay-on-shoes type of women in real life—they annoy the hell out of me. And I don't necessarily want to read about them. So, I don't pick up the book at all. Yes, call me shallow.

So, give that book cover heroine messed up hair, throw some mud on her pants, blood and cuts on her arm, and give her a huge fuck-off shotgun (or hell, even a sword). Show me that she has chutzpah and huge cajones and can kick ass and get wounded while dressing like a normal human being. Her bloody shirt fits. She wears (gasp!) jeans. And that shotgun will ruin your day.

I'd buy that book in a heartbeat.

1 Comments:

At March 10, 2012 at 8:48 PM , Blogger Carmen said...

Note to self: Watch the Alien movies. Then kick ass and take names.

 

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