The Planet DarkoverThe Planet Darkover
The Heirs of Hammerfell. A book by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
By Deborah Susan Jones : Editor
One of a number of Marion Zimmer Bradley paperback book covers created by Peter Andrew Jones illustrating a story set in the time of the Planet Darkover's Hundred Kingdoms The story concerns itself with the conflict driven growth pangs of the twin sons of the Duke of Hammerfell and the various squabbles and issues relating to and within the family.
Peter's involvement with the entire Arrow Books series, published in the UK (and Commonwealth) Market arose, as did so many of his commissioned works in the 80's, because the series was languishing, with no sales being made: something radical had to be done to reinvigorate it. Art Director Dennis Barker at Arrow had proposed displaying the cover art in a narrow band wrapping around the book, with bands top and bottom of the book left as plain colour. When Peter then drew-up a large scaled-up layout of this structure to use as a template for creating the final artwork, he spontaneously invented and added the "MZB" logo overlapping the plain colour top band and the area where the illustration appeared.
It was not typical, so not a part of the cover brief, for an illustrator to add-in a logo to the initial visual concept drawing, in this case Dennis Barker chose to adopt the logo design, and so a completely new "look" for the series had been invented via a spontaneous cooperation of talents. A second, more crucial aspect to the design, layout, and ultimately the rendering and execution of the paintings, was that the publisher, faced with a series of books that it still held a number of years reproduction rights in but with no sales coming in, was focused on "pushing the series over into the main market", a marketing thrust many publishers were choosing at that time in order to broaden their sales possibilities and as such, creating a science fiction cover that was mainstream not genre was a whole new skill that had to be developed.
A Jones-Barker classic!