Link: Art of the Clinch by Virginia Moench

The History and Anatomy of Clinch Covers

We were super-hyped when our Twitter friend, @GinnyMoench, created this interactive presentation on the history and anatomy of the clinch cover. We adore romance cover art, and this graphic amazed us.

Visit: PUBLIC TABLEAU: Art of the Clinch to view and interact with this presentation.

Moench sampled 153 romance novel covers and 60 covers with stepbacks from her personal library and the Twitter feed of  @Artoftheclinch–another must-follow Twitter account–and recorded their cover/ stepback characteristics.

You have to go to the link above to do this great display at work. Moench went through the decades of romance and explained how the covers changed as times and readers changed. The two greatest aspects of this presentation are the Colors of Clinch and Art of Clinch sections.

Colors of Clinch

In the Colors of Clinch portion, she breaks down what colors were popular for covers during each decade. As you can guess, there weren’t many vivid colors in the early days. That all changed in the 1980s when the clinch came into its prime.

Then in the 1990s, with the prevalent use of stepback covers, a rainbow of hues exploded as artists were free to do whatever they wanted.

In the new millennium, color use isn’t as expansive as in the past, especially in the more recent years.

Art of the Clinch

In the Art of the Clinch section, Moench analyzes covers by authors, with great attention to specific details. Such details include: who is represented on the cover (male or female), how much skin is exposed, and whether the cover is collectible (I’m glad to say I own a few of those!). There are other topics as well.

I highly recommend you go to the above link to view and interact with the presentation.

This is a fantastic display, and if you love romance cover art, you should have a blast with this chart.

art of the clinch
This entry was posted in Covers, Discussion, Links, Romance and tagged , , , on by .

About Jacqueline Diaz

Old-School, retro, and vintage romance reads are my jam, baby! The good, the bad, the cheesy, and the sleazy! I have no shame about it; I love ’em! An auto-didact, amateur historian, and reader of romance novels since 1990, I hope to offer a unique perspective on the genre. As a blogger, you may know me by several names; here, I’m Jacqueline Diaz. I’m also the aspiring author of two works-in-progress, historical romances, The Savage Noble and What She Says with Her Eyes, which hopefully will be released in 2023.

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