The Chart of Fantasy Art

by wjw on August 15, 2009

Well, the most commonly seen element appearing on fantasy books published last year was, it seems, the sword. Closely followed by glowy magic, castles, and dragons. I suspect a few covers contained all these elements. Meanwhile, fans of unicorns, maps, and stilettos had a disappointing year, and perhaps were lost to other genres.

Tim Holman posts some of his market research.

Dave Bishop August 16, 2009 at 9:48 am

I wonder sometimes about the glamour attached to swords. Some of the historical accounts that I've read recently suggest that these were not glamorous weapons at all but fearsome meat cleavers used for rudely hacking living people to pieces. But then I suppose it's no different from the glamour which attaches itself to guns today.

Steve Stirling August 17, 2009 at 2:56 am

I wonder sometimes about the glamour attached to swords.

— weapon of aristocrats. Enough said.

Steve Stirling August 17, 2009 at 3:05 am

One of the most common themes of fantasy covers in the 1970's and 1980's is conspicuous by its absence.

I speak, of course, of tits. Often encased in armor.

What accounts for the decline of this once ubiquitous visual trope?

dubjay August 17, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Judging by the covers I've seen, cleavage has been replaced by back views of sinewy women with tramp stamps.

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