Cover Art vs retouched photo covers!
I saw an awesome documentary on the rise and fall of video tape and the vcr as a medium and a phenomenon, called "rEWIND THIS"( sorry keyboard has an "r" problem since the flood). On top of all the video tape stuff, there was a whole segment on video tape covers and how they could sell a crappy movie at the video store with an awesome painted cover( usually involving big guns, muscles, zombies, skulls, and breasts) It made me realize the power that the illustration has to sell an item and how a lot of the "photo covers" of books and albums right now seems uninspiring and probably doesn't help sell the work. The marketers and accountants at corporations seem to have too much power over the art direction of the projects and so lots of good works get a mediocre photo cover.
The Important Question!
Where would Edgar rice Burroughs be without an amazing Frazetta on the cover? How about Lovecraft without an illustrator like Michael Raymond Whelan? Fans of fantastic art need to know that the really good time-consuming art is being edged out by fast photocollage. Everything is starting to look the same from Twilight to Game of Thrones. Here's the formula:
A. put down a dark background with a fade from light at the bottom with dark at the top.
B. throw a blue/brown/red photo filter over a photo of the heads of the three main characters
C. collage these faces together with one( the most important character) larger than the others, these others will be arranged in order of importance to the story.
D paste these onto dark fade background.
E. maybe put another color filter over this so all the colors in the background and the faces are unified. F. Add text to the bottom cuz, Hey, the readers/fans don't care!