Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cover Snark: The Eyes Have It

Urban fantasy is largely written by women which means that many of the protagonists are also women.  You would think that this would lead to less problematic images of women on book covers, but you would be wrong.  We have looked at disembodied women, the ever popular sideways T&A, and Photoshop Gone Wild to name just a few.  One of the trends we have noted in this genre is that certain body parts seem to be fixated upon. Usually it is a way of sexualising the protagonist but sometimes it's a way of othering to ensure the reader understands that they are dealing with something not quite human. Nothing denotes specialness like a pair of special eyes (or communicates the soul crushing angst our heroine's eternal angst- because eternal angst is an essential for an Urban Fantasy protagonist)

Shall we have a look?

The Iron King is pretty benign, but it is clear that we are meant focus deeply on the eye as though it is the window to the soul. I think it's supposed to be haunting, to me she looks vaguely stoned.

Eyes which are different shades are naturally occurring; however, have you ever seen a set of eyes look like this?  Though we can see the entire face, it's clear that our focus is meant to be the eyes.

As you can tell from the cover of Bound (yes, that's actually the title, not that you could tell from that horrible font they've used) we've moved into other worldly. Are you feeling mesmerized by what is clearly the worst photoshopped images of eyes to come along in awhile?

Then we get to Shatter Me.  We don't need to see anymore about the protagonist but the eye because that tells her complete story. It's like the Eye of Sauron with better equality eye-liner

 We actually much prefer these to the broken spines and aching thigh muscles of the sexualised covers - but we can still have a little fun with these major trends. Sometimes we just have to set our deep, soulful, shining, powerfully intense crystal gazes on these intriguing patterns.