Illustrators Respond After Author Mocks His Book’s Cover Art As ‘Laughably Bad’
By Yoon Sann Wong, 01 Mar 2018
Image via Amazon
A Facebook post by bestselling fantasy author Terry Goodkind has ignited an online brouhaha after publicly calling out the cover art of his own book, Shroud of Eternity, and describing it as being “laughably bad.”
On 24 February, Goodkind invited his Facebook followers to share thoughts on the Shroud of Eternity’s cover before 10 random entries were selected on 1 March to receive a signed copy of the novel.
SHROUD OF ETERNITY is a great book with a very bad cover. Laughably bad. So let's have some fun with it. Tell us what...Posted by Terry Goodkind on Friday, February 23, 2018
That same day, Goodkind launched a public poll asking Facebook readers to declare if the Shroud of Eternity book cover was “laughably bad” or “excellent.”
The posts came to the attention of the book cover’s illustrator, Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme, who has created artwork for other authors such as Fight Club’s Chuck Palahniuk, and science fiction author Philip K. Dick, whose works have inspired screen adaptations including Blade Runner.
Lecouffe-Deharme was wholly taken aback and responded to Goodkind’s post conveying that his actions were entirely disrespectful.
Lecouffe-Deharme also issued a statement on his own Facebook page expressing his views on Goodkind’s “unprofessional behavior.” Lecouffe-Deharme explained that he had done up the artwork according to what was briefed to him from Goodkind’s publisher, Tor Books. The post reads:
“I am appalled by the unprofessional behavior of Terry Goodkind, who is publicly attacking the artwork I created for his own book. This cover was made ‘on demand’ accorded to what I was asked to do for the book of that man, and he is now bashing me, calling for his fans to publicly vote on ‘how bad is the art.’”
“I have never seen that in my entire career.”
“I didn’t want to say anything myself publicly, to not get as low as he is, and let the publisher and my agent handle this man’s behavior.”
“But I also want to thank all the members of the art community, and beyond, who are rising like sisters and brothers to make things right. That’s heart warming!”
“Here is a screen capture of only one of his posts. I will handle the rest behind the curtain, with professional involved people.”
In a follow-up statement on Facebook, Lecouffe-Deharme added, “Now the narrative of the author is that ‘I got offended’ or that I am using this as some kind of self promotion. Two things: First, I did not get offended, I just appreciate respect. Second, I never needed drama to promote my work... Let’s remember that I started none of that. I would never have. I just don’t like to get spit on… The rest of the story will unfold privately, between adults, as it should have been the case from the start.”
Other illustrators came to Lecouffe-Deharme’s defense, including Leesha Hannigan and Rovina Cai.
... Wow. Actually appalled to see this post from Terry Goodkind on Facebook.— Leesha Hannigan (@LeeshaHannigan) February 24, 2018
Artists DIRECTLY follow a brief they are given by YOUR publisher. Publicly dragging the work they do for you is a dick move, not to mention incredibly unprofessional. pic.twitter.com/PJzJXDLfvC
Aaaand now I'm gonna turn this into a good thing because negativity sucks, so let's promote the artist - Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme. You may know some of his work from Magic, or other book covers. Check it out:https://t.co/v0V1z21SOahttps://t.co/ePTMnxZngP pic.twitter.com/ESoeTVZ0Ov— Leesha Hannigan (@LeeshaHannigan) February 24, 2018
Sometimes it seems like authors look upon illustrators with a sense of suspicion and distrust. I don't know if they realise that illustrators are professionals who've honed their craft for years, & our goal and expertise is specifically to *help* them sell books 🙄 #TerryGoodkind pic.twitter.com/PeZkQWjdfU— Rovina Cai (@RovinaCai) February 24, 2018
If you were wondering, the cover artist from that Terry Goodkind novel is Bastien Lecouffe-Deharme and he has an absolutely gorgeous body of work pic.twitter.com/SRPpmLXAje— gucci dragon 💀 (@okaykaiju) February 25, 2018
On Saturday, Goodkind published an apology to Facebook in attempts to seemingly clarify the situation, “…The contest and poll below, is poking fun at my own book. The artist is obviously an exceptionally talented creative. The problem is with the publisher. I created the poll as a way to poke fun at the cover art, because it is a poor representation of characters within the book. Characters I am deeply passionate about. It’s impossible not to be emotional about such things, when I’ve spent the last 30 years of my life devoted to their every nuance.”
“In no way do I feel the quality of the art is rendered poorly. For any misunderstanding, I apologize to the artist, his friends, and of course my own community here.”
“…My dissatisfaction with the art isn’t the artist’s fault, of course; the art was commissioned and directed by the publisher….”
“…For ‘SHROUD OF ETERNITY’, I was sent the cover art shortly before publication. We all expressed our dissatisfaction with the character representation of the artwork and we protested the printing. We were overruled and the book went to print as-is. Sometimes that happens. It stings to see a publisher not always seem to care as much as we do...”
You can read the full post here:
Goodkind also explained inside the comments of the poll’s post that it was “not the artist’s fault.”
“The quality of the artwork is terrific. The characters are not represented well and that’s the responsibility of the publisher. It’s the wrong art for the book. As simple as that.”
[via Guardian, main image via Amazon]
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