Double Vision: Cover Twinning
Have you ever noticed you own two different books with the same cover? Recycling cover art is quite common in the book industry. Publishers often re-use artwork to save money or time.
Hat Tip to Biologistreadsromance
Previously I mentioned the Instagram hashtag #covertwinning. This was the brainchild of biologistreadsromance, who also created the hashtag #stepbacktwinning. The images of the beautifully arranged books come from her Instagram account, so I recommend checking it out.
The hashtag #covertwinning allows posters to show off their duplicate covers.
The Hawk and the Dove & Gentle Rogue by Sharon Spiak
We referred to this twinning combo last time we discussed recycled cover art.
Notice the dress and the ship. In the revamped version, the protagonists’ hair colors are altered, and there’s no castle in the back. Nor are there any birds and flowers in the foreground.
The new cover is pretty enough. But the clothing and sword are about 150 years too early for the Regency-age Gentle Rogue.
Reckless Abandon and Moonlight Enchantment by Renato Aime
Dorchester Publishing was notorious for doing everything on the cheap. Whether it was selling books through BMI at a discounted rate–thereby providing little to no royalties to authors–, not paying authors outright, or using recycled cover art for their books, they were awfully cheap in their endeavors.
The cover design for Reckless Abandon by Jolene Prewit-Parker and Moonlight Enchantment by Deborah Martin is a most blatant case of cover twinning. They didn’t alter the image at all.
The art design is the handiwork of Renato Aime, who, along with Harry Burman and Pino, was one of Dorchester’s most commonly used artists.
Lorielle and Love Only Once by Elaine Duillo
When covers are recycled, it’s usually by the same publishers. In some cases, the artist owns the right to images and can reuse them as they wish. That looks to be the case here.
Elaine Duillo illustrated the cover for Lorielle in 1980. After Avon hired her to paint Johanna Lindsey’s books, they reprinted Lindsey’s first Malory romance, Love Only Once, using that Duillo cover. The original Love Only Once was published in 1984 and designed by Robert McGinnis.
I can’t confirm when the Duillo version was issued, but I recall seeing it in 1990 when Gentle Rogue–the third Malory entry–was released.
Scarlet Lady and Scoundrel’s Kiss
Here is another Avon case of cover twinning. Scarlet Lady and Scoundrel’s Kiss are strikingly similar, except for the colors.
Max Ginsburg painted the first cover. At first glance, it looks like the same artist’s work, but look closer. I doubt it’s Ginsburg, as the strokes are not as precise as his usual style.
I assume Avon just had a different artist paint a new cover for A Scoundrel’s Kiss using the same original image.
Victor Gadino’s Tribute To Robert McGinnis
Besides his fantastic talent, one of the numerous reasons Victor Gadino is my favorite active cover artist is his sense of whimsy. He has great respect for the field he works in, taking pride in his work. Many artists who have designed romance covers seem embarrassed of that fact or bluntly state they only did it for the money.
Not Gadino. He embraces sensuality and romance wholeheartedly, putting his best efforts into his pictures.
One of my best-loved covers is the legendary “first naked man” painted by Robert McGinnis for Johanna Lindsey’s 1980 bodice ripper Fires of Winter. I loved this cover so much as a teen I would draw copies of it repeatedly, just changing the hair colors and backgrounds.
For Elizabeth Lowell’s medieval romance, Enchanted, Gadino paid homage to McGinnis’ cover with a couple posed in the same position. A black-haired heroine lays between the blond hero’s naked thighs while he grasps her in his manly embrace. Instead of a white ermine rug, the couple rests on various colorful, multitextured pillows.
It’s a truly stunning step back.
It’s hard to say who did it better, McGinnis or Gadino. What do you think?