I featured scans of four Malzberg novels with terrific cover art by Moll on 02 December 2012, and this is sort of a follow-up to that post. Although I’m not a huge fan of his work in general, Charles Moll has produced some very strong covers over the years for various fantasy and science fiction novels, along with many weak ones. Combined with the images in my previous post, the following covers, scanned by me from the old paperbacks in my personal library, should give you an good idea of Moll’s weaknesses and strengths as an image maker:
[CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE]
Moll’s sombre, psychologically engaging surrealist cover art for Spinrad’s No Direction Home is the clear winner here. The other covers are nothing special, although Moll’s art for Brak the Barbarian (1977) gets points for featuring a pretty-boy protagonist who does not conform to reader expectations for a Conan-esque barbarian hero who lives “in the savage age of blood and barbarism.” It’s an interesting choice, though the sterile execution leaves much to be desired.
Yes, there are some serious creases and wear marks on some of the covers, but it is difficult to find pristine copies of thirty-nine-year-old-plus paperbacks, especially when one limits one’s search to local bookstores:
I don’t really like any of the above covers, with the exception, perhaps, of the Uncharted Stars cover, which I feel is a step up from the others in terms of draftsmanship, composition, technique, originality, and wit.
Keywords:Star Hunter And Voodoo Planet, Sorceress of the Witch World, The Planet Wizard, Thongor Fights The Pirates of Tarakus, The Zero Stone, Uncharted Stars.
I don’t much care for any of these covers from 1968 and 1969, but since I have yet to break out of the collector/completist mentality — and believe me, I’ve tried — here they are, scanned and posted for your “enjoyment”:
To make up for the lacklustre art this time round, my next post will feature two covers by Jones from the early 1970s that I think are very strong, along with one that I have mixed feelings about, so stay tuned for that!
Keywords:Thongor at the End of Time, Master of the Etrax, Zanthar at Moon’s Madness, The Hybrid.