Here He Is, Mr. Anachronism!

One more addition to the Shirtless Cover Hero controversy.

This morning I’m offering up an older cover of mine from the early nineties (we all remember the cover-artist Pino, don’t we?) that has more than its share of oddities.  First, we have the stern 19th century Yankee sea captain, baring his waxed chest to the bracing North Atlantic winds.  Clearly he must go to the same Hero Tailor as the men on the covers from Jo and Loretta — you know, all the other respectable men of their time are wearing shirts that pull over their heads, but these guys have chosen nifty break-apart shirts a la the Chipendales.  So fashion-forward!

Providence

Secondly, you don’t have to be a Patrick O’Brian afficinado to see that there is something really, really wrong with his ship.  Why is this captain so stalwart and unconcerned by the fact that he’s standing waist-deep in crashing waves and water?  Hasn’t he noticed that the ship’s wheel is about one-quarter the size it should be, or that it’s in the middle of the deck, where it couldn’t possibly be connected to the rudder?  (Maybe this is a dummy-wheel, like they have on driver’s ed cars, and behind the captain is another, more properly dressed man farther back actually steering the ship.)  And what exactly is that big piece of canvas flapping around where no sail should be, especially when it’s blowing in the opposite direction of the captain’s hair?

Oh, picky, picky, picky.  .  .  .

Susan/Miranda

30 thoughts on “Here He Is, Mr. Anachronism!”

  1. I remember reading this book, Miranda. I still must have it somewhere, though I don’t remember the cover being so foolish as it looks now. This was the hayday of Fabio, wasn’t it, so all romance covers looked like this and we thought nothing of it.
    Wasn’t there a shipwreck in the story, too? So maybe that’s what the artist was thinking. Anyway, still a wonderful adventure-historical for anyone who hasn’t read it.
    Ida

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  2. I remember reading this book, Miranda. I still must have it somewhere, though I don’t remember the cover being so foolish as it looks now. This was the hayday of Fabio, wasn’t it, so all romance covers looked like this and we thought nothing of it.
    Wasn’t there a shipwreck in the story, too? So maybe that’s what the artist was thinking. Anyway, still a wonderful adventure-historical for anyone who hasn’t read it.
    Ida

    Reply
  3. I remember reading this book, Miranda. I still must have it somewhere, though I don’t remember the cover being so foolish as it looks now. This was the hayday of Fabio, wasn’t it, so all romance covers looked like this and we thought nothing of it.
    Wasn’t there a shipwreck in the story, too? So maybe that’s what the artist was thinking. Anyway, still a wonderful adventure-historical for anyone who hasn’t read it.
    Ida

    Reply
  4. Can’t stop laughing about all the errors (esp. the idea of a second man somewhere “off camera” doing all the work).
    The thing that really kills me is the strange expression on the guy’s face. He looks like a constipated muppet.

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  5. Can’t stop laughing about all the errors (esp. the idea of a second man somewhere “off camera” doing all the work).
    The thing that really kills me is the strange expression on the guy’s face. He looks like a constipated muppet.

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  6. Can’t stop laughing about all the errors (esp. the idea of a second man somewhere “off camera” doing all the work).
    The thing that really kills me is the strange expression on the guy’s face. He looks like a constipated muppet.

    Reply
  7. Haha, the poor guy does look rather determined to drown with his sinking ship — Jack Sparrow he isn’t!! 😉

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  8. Haha, the poor guy does look rather determined to drown with his sinking ship — Jack Sparrow he isn’t!! 😉

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  9. Haha, the poor guy does look rather determined to drown with his sinking ship — Jack Sparrow he isn’t!! 😉

    Reply
  10. ” He looks like a constipated muppet.”
    LOL! It is the expressions sometimes that are so funny. These poor guys in photo shoots trying to look studly.
    Susan/Miranda, that cover is a great contender.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  11. ” He looks like a constipated muppet.”
    LOL! It is the expressions sometimes that are so funny. These poor guys in photo shoots trying to look studly.
    Susan/Miranda, that cover is a great contender.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  12. ” He looks like a constipated muppet.”
    LOL! It is the expressions sometimes that are so funny. These poor guys in photo shoots trying to look studly.
    Susan/Miranda, that cover is a great contender.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  13. Tonda, LOVED the “constipated Muppet.” A perfect description! No wonder the heroine’s gazing desparately off to one side, praying to be rescued by someone with more sense. Big Bird? Kermit?
    “Artistic license”, Pat? As in this artist didn’t have a license to foist this silly painting onto a poor, defenseless cover? At least I learned my lesson with this one, though. Never suggested anything vaguely nautical again.
    And yes, Ida, this did date back to the days when Fabio Ruled the Earth. Tastes change. That art director probably thought he’d done me a huge favor–!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  14. Tonda, LOVED the “constipated Muppet.” A perfect description! No wonder the heroine’s gazing desparately off to one side, praying to be rescued by someone with more sense. Big Bird? Kermit?
    “Artistic license”, Pat? As in this artist didn’t have a license to foist this silly painting onto a poor, defenseless cover? At least I learned my lesson with this one, though. Never suggested anything vaguely nautical again.
    And yes, Ida, this did date back to the days when Fabio Ruled the Earth. Tastes change. That art director probably thought he’d done me a huge favor–!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  15. Tonda, LOVED the “constipated Muppet.” A perfect description! No wonder the heroine’s gazing desparately off to one side, praying to be rescued by someone with more sense. Big Bird? Kermit?
    “Artistic license”, Pat? As in this artist didn’t have a license to foist this silly painting onto a poor, defenseless cover? At least I learned my lesson with this one, though. Never suggested anything vaguely nautical again.
    And yes, Ida, this did date back to the days when Fabio Ruled the Earth. Tastes change. That art director probably thought he’d done me a huge favor–!
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  16. Susan, have you read the Patience McKenna mysteries by Orania Papazoglou, now being reprinted under her Jane Haddam pseudonym? The heroine is a romance novelist turned amateur detective and true-crime writer, and the books have titles like SWEET SAVAGE DEATH and WICKED LOVING MURDER. There is some wonderful satire, especially of cover art. The books are usually set at some sort of convention or book tour.

    Reply
  17. Susan, have you read the Patience McKenna mysteries by Orania Papazoglou, now being reprinted under her Jane Haddam pseudonym? The heroine is a romance novelist turned amateur detective and true-crime writer, and the books have titles like SWEET SAVAGE DEATH and WICKED LOVING MURDER. There is some wonderful satire, especially of cover art. The books are usually set at some sort of convention or book tour.

    Reply
  18. Susan, have you read the Patience McKenna mysteries by Orania Papazoglou, now being reprinted under her Jane Haddam pseudonym? The heroine is a romance novelist turned amateur detective and true-crime writer, and the books have titles like SWEET SAVAGE DEATH and WICKED LOVING MURDER. There is some wonderful satire, especially of cover art. The books are usually set at some sort of convention or book tour.

    Reply
  19. Talpianna–
    No, I’m not familiar with this series of mysteries — but oh, my, is the more purple side of romance ripe for satire. “Romancing the Stone” featured a romance writer, and I think that Kasey Michaels is currently working on a series with a romance writer as her heroine. I’ll keep an eye out for Patience McKenna.
    Fortunately it’s a great big romantic world out there, with lots of room for interpretations of every kind. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  20. Talpianna–
    No, I’m not familiar with this series of mysteries — but oh, my, is the more purple side of romance ripe for satire. “Romancing the Stone” featured a romance writer, and I think that Kasey Michaels is currently working on a series with a romance writer as her heroine. I’ll keep an eye out for Patience McKenna.
    Fortunately it’s a great big romantic world out there, with lots of room for interpretations of every kind. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  21. Talpianna–
    No, I’m not familiar with this series of mysteries — but oh, my, is the more purple side of romance ripe for satire. “Romancing the Stone” featured a romance writer, and I think that Kasey Michaels is currently working on a series with a romance writer as her heroine. I’ll keep an eye out for Patience McKenna.
    Fortunately it’s a great big romantic world out there, with lots of room for interpretations of every kind. 🙂
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  22. Get the books, SusanM! Penguin is doing the paperbacks last time I looked. Have fun figuring out which of your friends and colleagues are the models for the continuing characters.

    Reply
  23. Get the books, SusanM! Penguin is doing the paperbacks last time I looked. Have fun figuring out which of your friends and colleagues are the models for the continuing characters.

    Reply
  24. Get the books, SusanM! Penguin is doing the paperbacks last time I looked. Have fun figuring out which of your friends and colleagues are the models for the continuing characters.

    Reply
  25. Adding: Elizabeth Peters did a sendup of romance conventions: DIE FOR LOVE. All the authors were named Valerie….
    She also did one based on the search for the writer of the sequel to GONE WITH THE WIND, called NAKED ONCE MORE. Both feature her recurring character Jacqueline Kirby, university librarian turned author of bestsellin bodice-rippers.

    Reply
  26. Adding: Elizabeth Peters did a sendup of romance conventions: DIE FOR LOVE. All the authors were named Valerie….
    She also did one based on the search for the writer of the sequel to GONE WITH THE WIND, called NAKED ONCE MORE. Both feature her recurring character Jacqueline Kirby, university librarian turned author of bestsellin bodice-rippers.

    Reply
  27. Adding: Elizabeth Peters did a sendup of romance conventions: DIE FOR LOVE. All the authors were named Valerie….
    She also did one based on the search for the writer of the sequel to GONE WITH THE WIND, called NAKED ONCE MORE. Both feature her recurring character Jacqueline Kirby, university librarian turned author of bestsellin bodice-rippers.

    Reply

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