About the Fires Rekindled Cover

One thing that’s raised a bit of eyebrows is the distinct cover of the third volume in our forthcoming collection of Julian Hawthorne’s All-Story Weekly fiction.

Since there were no original pieces of pulp art to use associated with either Doris Dances or Fires Rekindled, Michael Tierney suggested that we have an original piece done by Dark Filly, who has become Cirsova Magazine’s regular interior illustrator since the glowing reception of her work on Mongoose and Meerkat.

But why is there a blond woman in Ancient Egypt being attacked by a necromancer? This has popped a couple monocles and gotten a few head shakes.

There is, however, a good reason for it, and DarkFilly nails the scene and Michael’s colors [specifically the blonde in Ancient Egypt] are accurate. 

Fires Rekindled contains a “pulp within a pulp”; while on the trail to find the identity of the individuals he feels a past-life connection with, the hero finds a Georgian/Regency magazine that loosely fictionalizes the affair and possible murder, setting it in Ancient Egypt.

As to why the princess is blond, the mise en abyme story is explicitly a ham-fisted and hackneyed thinly-veiled allegorical account of the blond visiting opera singer who died in Georgian England.

We decided that the climactic scene of the mise en abyme Egyptian tragedy would make a better cover than a guy poking around archives trying to solve the 100 year-old mystery [and a more exciting cover than an eccentric millionaire playing the banjo].

As for the more “cartoony” aesthetic, how does one convey a scene of a cartoon within a cartoon medium? We were challenged with conveying a pulp adventure [one which the text itself describes as pretty shlocky] within a pulp adventure. Of course, actual Georgian/Regency-era magazine covers were likely not particularly thrilling on the whole; the magazine the protagonist finds most likely looked [and was meant to evoke] something like Blackwood’s Magazine:

5 responses to “About the Fires Rekindled Cover

  1. “…popped a couple of monocles…” I like that one!

    Honestly, the blonde didn’t surprise me. Watch SG-1 enough, and you figure out that Ancient Egyptian setting, plus blonde woman, equals what is likely a time travel story. Or if not a time travel story, it indicates one is in for a thrilling read! 😀

    • Thanks!

      Also, I didn’t mean a literal cartoon, but was just using that as an example of mise en abyme in a visual medium–if you saw a show within a cartoon, the only indication between whether the show was “live action” within the cartoon or a cartoon within a cartoon might be the level of exaggeration, and even then it’s hazy. So for a pulp-within-a-pulp [particularly where the story within the story was meant to be exaggerated], we felt that a style that was a little more lurid and cartoony would work better than the romantic artwork of the early pulps. Plus, we just really like the art that Filly has done for our ongoing Sword & Sorcery series, Mongoose and Meerkat.

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