Last night I had a Twitter conversation about my Griffin Mage covers and other griffin covers, so, since I’m not sure I ever did one, here’s a roundup of all MY griffin covers, which I’ll follow with a few of the very best griffin covers of all time.
So, first, the original paperback covers for the trilogy:
The UK versions were exactly like these, but, as you may possibly know, the reflection of the face in the eye was not present in the UK cover. Don’t know why. It’s a neat detail, though I don’t particularly like the actual face that is reflected.
Obviously this artist chickened out when it came to showing an actual griffin. That’s too bad, as griffins are certainly very suitable for fantasy covers and should, I firmly believe, be shown as often as possible.
The artist for Hachette’s omnibus also apparently didn’t feel up to putting a griffin on the cover:
Fire, yes; griffins, no; and a random person who does not look much like anybody in the trilogy. Despite these flaws, I actually am pretty much okay with this cover, I guess, but I wish there had been a griffin on the cover.
Next, the SFBC omnibus cover. I don’t care for that woman, who looks much older than Kes. Honestly, if it’d been me, I would have suggested to each artist that they quit putting girls or women on the covers and focus on the griffins.
Focusing on the griffins was actually the direction taken by the artist who did the audiobook covers:
The first one could be an eagle or hawk, so that’s cheating. My favorite of these griffins, by a mile, is the one on the cover of SANDS.
My favorite of the Griffin Mage covers were done for the German edition:
I have no clue about the Dominatrix Sorceress in the Black Cloak. But the griffin is wonderful and I love the landscape. I don’t care for the second one as much, but the third is good:
So, those are MY covers. Which do you think are the best?
But moving on, let’s take a look at some of the most spectacular and creative griffins that have appeared on book covers for other peoples’ work. Here, starting with possibly my favorite griffin. I admit I have never read this series, but you can’t beat this griffin:
I like everything about the above griffin. The artist did a fantastic job making this look like a real, plausible animal. Nice tail for a flying animal; that makes all the sense in the world compared to a simple lion’s tail, though that would have been all right with me too.
Here’s a comfortable griffin:
I’m not sure what I think of humanizing the hands. That does make it easier to hold a coffee mug, though.
Below is one of my favorite literary griffins. The Inspector General is a great character and, incidentally, my veterinarian gave a thumbs up to the veterinary medicine practiced in this series.
Here’s a different kind of griffin, an owl griffin:
Here’s another owl griffin I particularly like:
And I’ll finish off with the most exotic griffin I know of:
I doubt anyone recognizes the bird this griffin is based on. Or do you? Maybe it’s better known than I think? It certainly looks to me like it MUST be based on the African hoopoe, a quite wonderful bird I enjoyed very much seeing once when I was actually in Kenya.
If you’ve met a griffin you especially liked — artwork or character — please mention it in the comments!