Monday, February 22, 2021

Cover for 'Never the Twain'


'Never the Twain' was a science fiction novel by Kirk Mitchell. I did the cover for Berkley/Ace books.

It tells the story of Howard Hart, who travels back in time to wreck the literary career of Mark Twain and improve the reputation of his ancestor, Bret Harte.

I needed to come up with a way to show the two men, their two worlds, and the device that made it possible to cross over. After reading the manuscript I made a lot of sketches. 

The visual metaphor for time travel had to be an object about the size of a standing man, something that could have existed in the past or the present. 

The grandfather clock seemed like a natural device, but the breakthrough idea was the interlocking double clock face.


Mitch M. said...

Brilliant conception!

Olga said...

sir, the clock is beatiful, but i'd love to know more about the young time traveller. did you use the reference for his body posture and/or the lighting on his face?

widdly said...

Great art. That is a cool premise for a story and a bit of a riff on the Conneticut Yankee. Have you kept copies of all the books you have done covers for?

thom petersen said...

Well ..... you did it again Ollie! .... masterful James !!!

CerverGirl said...

The gizmos at the top in your sketches and the final piece are very cool!

peachsoda said...

I'm afraid I have to ruin your nice blog post with an art-related question. My question is thus: is it possible to achieve the same smoothness and transitions of oil paint with dry media? I know pastels can easily do it but I'm curious about colored pencils, or even mixed media being able to mimic it. Also, I will say, in an effort to get cool points, I commented on this specific post because my ancestor was actually great pals with Mark Twain. Twain used to steal things from him, including slippers, books, and a whole ham.