Who Painted the Cover for THE TOWER OF DEATH?

Sunday , 17, February 2019 3 Comments

A few weeks back, I did a post on artist Ezra Tucker. A friend of mine was able to identify two more non-attributed paperback covers by him.  One was the cover for Andrew J. Offutt’s The Sword of the Gael, Ace edition. This is one of Offutt’s “Cormac MacArt” pastiches of the Robert E. Howard character.

The Zebra and Ace paperback editions of the series have featured cover art by a who’s who of late 70s/early 80s fantasy artists: Jeff Jones, Doug Beekman, Sanjulian, Ken Kelly, Tom Barber, and Ezra Tucker.

The Tower of Death by Andrew J. Offutt and Keith Taylor was the last book in the series to come out in 1982.

The cover has nothing to do with the book. My guess is the painting was lying around and used for the book. This has happened more than once.

There is no artist signature and no credits on the copyright page. It also appears to cut off to the right and probably the left sides.

It is not a bad cover being somewhat symbolic. Could be used for just about any book dealing with a quasi-northern European setting.

The style reminds of Tom Barber. I asked Tom if he painted it and he told me no. ISFDB.org has Glenn Lord mistakenly listed as the cover artist. Glenn was a great guy, but he was not an artist.

I asked on social media on a Keith Taylor group if he knows who did it. I have not heard back from him and it is more than likely Keith does not even know who did the cover. One thing I have found is authors were/are often kept in the dark about their books.

So, if anyone may know who did the cover, post a comment below. I would like to end this mystery. I would also be curious in seeing the whole painting.

3 Comments
  • Cromagnon Man says:

    Can’t help wondering whether John Pound or Walter Velez are viable suggestions. Something about those sombrero like shields seems vaguely reminiscent of certain of the Forgotten Realms and Thieves’s World covers.

    While we’re on the subject of Cormac covers what about the amazing Melvyn Grant cover the UK Sword of the Gael which, I seem to recall, so impressed Offutt that he wanted to spin an entire novel around it.

  • Cromagnon Man says:

    Barber seemed a pretty good call to me. Now I can’t help wondering whether John Pound or Walter Velez might be viable suggestions. Something about those sombrero like shields seems vaguely reminiscent of elements found in the Forgotten Realms and Thieves’s World covers.

    While we’re on the subject of Cormac covers: what about the amazing Melvyn Grant illustration on the UK Sword of the Gael? I seem to recall it so impressed Offutt that he wanted to spin an entire novel around it.

  • Actually, I checked and it seems that none of the Ace printings of the Cormac books Andy Offutt did credit their cover artists, which would suggest they were indeed old paintings they had on hand and wouldn’t have to pay for. “Tigers of the Sea” is an obvious Jones, but the rest…?

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