Royal Crush Cover Art is Here!

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

Detail from Royal Crush cover artAs we countdown to the release of Jason Cosmo: Royal  Crush on December 5, I am assembling the pieces of the book, including a critical component — the cover!

Yesterday I received the cover art image. I’m not going to reveal it in full until the title has been added to make it a proper cover, but I want to share this sneak peek, a close-up of our fearless wizard, Mercury Boltblaster!

I also want to introduce the newest Jason Cosmo cover artist: award-winning illustrator and sculptor Mighty Mark Helwig. Mark joins the ranks of Richard Hescox, Josh Kirby, and Den Beauvais in providing covers for the Jason Cosmo saga. Mark give us his interpretation of a pivotal scene in Royal Crush, which I will share in all its glory when the final cover is ready.

Mark displays a quirky, sly, and slightly demented sense of humor in his work (and has a disturbing affinity for Cthulhu). I thought it would be fun to get Mark’s take on Jason Cosmo and company.  Stay tuned for the full cover soon!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

PS:  You can see more of Mark Helwig’s work at his website: Mark Helwig Art and Sculpture and on his Facebook Page: The Art of Mark A. Helwig – Facebook Page. Check it out!

 

Dirty Work Cover Art Mystery – SOLVED!

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

One of the greatest mysteries of the Cosmoverse was recently solved.  For more than a decade I have been on a quest — well, an occasional quest — to learn who painted the cover illustration for the 1992 Roc edition of Dirty Work. Now, at last, the answer is revealed!

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Who did Dirty Work?

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

With Noble Cause now written and working its way into the various ebook stores, I have the breathing room to solve one of the great mysteries of the Jason Cosmo series: Who painted the cover of the 1993 Roc edition of Dirty Work?

As longtime Loyal Readers know, Dirty Work was the third volume of the classic Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy. Richard Hescox provided the cover illustrations for my first two books, Jason Cosmo and Royal Chaos. The late Josh Kirby did the covers for the UK editions of all three books, published by Pan Ltd. But it remains a mystery to this day who painted the cover for Dirty Work.

Sadly, Roc did not provide a cover credit in the book itself. That was the first place I looked. Some fifteen years or so ago, a prominent fantasy artist I happened to meet whilst holding a copy of Dirty Work took a look at the cover and said, “Oh, that is _____. I’d know his style anywhere.” And I wrote the name down on a scrap of paper, long since lost to time, and also made a more “permanent” note on my computer, long since lost to a hard drive crash. Yeah, I’m not very good with names.

But the time has come to solve this mystery. Someone suggested it may have been the awesome Walter Velez. But I asked Mr. Velez, he checked his records, and it was not him. I emailed the fantasy artist I once bumped into to ask if he might again identify the artist simply from looking at the art. I don’t know if he will have time or inclination to reply. Or if my message even got through his spam filter. So I also sent the below letter to the generic email address of my former publisher Penguin USA/ACE/ROC:

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Throwing Darts at Jason Cosmo Cover

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

The wits at the blog Good Show Sir recently had a bit of fun at the expense of the cover art for my first novel, Jason Cosmo

A sample of their good-natured ribbing:

In slaying the beardy blue giant, Jason accidentally stabs a huge butterfly, skewering it to the side of a giant reptile. With a checkerboard pattern. On. His. Underside? WTF?

Meanwhile, the cheery wizard pretends to dance with castinets, two lovely ladies pose for the artist, and everything, but EVERYTHING turns out to be smaller than a can of fizzy pop.

If I had been drinking a beverage while reading this, said beverage would have come out my nose at a high rate of speed! The remaining comments had me laughing so hard I may have sprained something.

Certainly as valid an interpretation of the scene as any. I’ve often conceptualized the Jason Cosmo cover as a goofy post-book cast photo, with all the characters merely playing dead.  Otherwise, it’s a bit gruesome…posing on a stack of bodies.

The stated mission of Good Show Sir is “sharing those Sci-fi and Fantasy book covers that elicit a response of both fear and wonder, for together we can create something truly great and show the world what sins have been committed by Sci-fi & Fantasy the world over. Because sometimes, a book cover is so bad that all you can do is step back in wonder and say “Good show, sir, good show”. “

Good Show Sir is a sort of Mystery Science Theater 3000 for book covers. Offering outstandingly hilarious commentary on odd and inexplicable SF/F covers,  Good Show Sir is a site worth checking out for a good laugh!

Best regards,
Dan McGirt

Happy New Year, Loyal Readers!

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I hope that you rang in the New Year in style and have great things ahead in 2011! I simply want to take a moment to thank all the Loyal Readers who bought my books and stories in 2010, who posted kind reviews at Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Goodreads, etc; and who took time to tweet, email, or otherwise let me know that you enjoyed my work. I love to tell stories. I love to entertain and amuse people. So it always makes my day when I hear from a Loyal Reader that you liked something I wrote.

Of course, I know what many of you would like is for me to write faster! (And, perhaps, better). Noble Cause is very obviously way behind schedule. My plan to release that book in 2010 were derailed various non-writing time commitments, as well as self-inflicted delays, such as the month or so I spent writing Sarah Palin: Vampire Hunter and the month or so I spent on the Caladon Falls role-playing game project. For those who have been patiently waiting for the new book, I apologize for getting sidetracked. I’m back on the case, and will have Noble Cause done and published by spring.

Aside from the aforementioned SPVH and Caladon Falls, 2010 also saw my world audiodrama debut at The Dramapod, which was at least non-awful enough that they invited me back for a dramatic reading of my horror-comedy short story Beginner’s Luck as part of The Dramapod Halloween special. The Dramapod gang produces some really fun material and if you enjoy audiostories, you should definitely check out their catalog.

Also in 2010, I quietly released the original Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy as free Smashwords ebooks. This is a limited time Smashwords exclusive, so if you haven’t jumped over to grab Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, or Dirty Work do it soon! I’ve secured rights to re-use the original Richard Hescox cover art for the ebooks. As soon as the new covers are done, the Non-Trilogy ebook titles will go on sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony, Apple and other ebook retailers, priced at $2.99.  So get ’em while they’re free! (And if you’d care to post a review of the Non-Trilogy at Smashwords, I would greatly appreciate it.)

Speaking of ebooks, through the end of 201o my 9 ebook titles have 16,584 downloads (free + sales) at Smashwords alone, with just shy of 40,000 total downloads/sales when other retailers are included. Those numbers include far more free downloads than sales, since I gave away the Hero Wanted ebook for one full year. Whether you bought or read if for free–thanks for reading!

And if you bought, thanks again!

What’s ahead for 2011? I can only tell you my plans. Chances are, some of these won’t happen and I’ll think of new projects as I go. But here is my working list:

  • Release Noble Cause: this is definite. This will happen.
  • Re-release Jason Cosmo, Royal Chaos, Dirty Work ebooks with new covers. Also coming soon.
  • Another Jason Cosmo mini-novel (cf. Rainy Daze)
  • Revised version Royal Chaos: Book 3 in the relaunched series, after Noble Cause.
  • Boltblaster: At long last!
  • Sarah Palin Vampire Hunter II: because you demanded it!
  • Maybe a few other non-Jason Cosmo stories, for variety’s sake.

Less definite, but I’d like to do:

  • Hero Wanted podcast/bookcast: I love what authors like Seth Harwood and Scott Sigler are doing, serial podcasting entire books. But as I learned recording Beginner’s Luck, it is hard work and time-consuming. I want to do it, but this won’t be a top priority.

That’s what I have on the drawing board for you in the year ahead, Loyal Readers! Thank you again for all your support and encouragement. I hope your own plans for 2011 are even bigger and better than mine!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Jason Cosmo: Noble Cause Cover Story

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

The cover for Jason Cosmo: Noble Cause is here at last. The gorgeously absurd and absurdly gorgeous illustration, once again, is by award-winning artist Richard Hescox, with cover design by Kris Tobiassen. They did a great job! I’ll let the picture speak for itself. You’ll have to read the book to get the full story, but what you see depicted here is our hero Jason Cosmo and the lovely twins Sapphrina and Rubis. And a very large bear.

Noble Cause (2010) by Dan McGirt

Noble Cause (2010)

Alas, we had to trim the picture a little to fit the dimensions of a book cover.

Since I don’t want Richard Hescox’s great work to go to waste, here is a peek at the full image before it was edited for the book cover:

Cover art for Jason Cosmo: Noble Cause by Richard Hescox

Jason Cosmo: Noble Cause Copyright 2010 Richard Hescox

I hope you enjoy this cover as much as I do.  Stay tuned for Noble Cause!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

Jason Cosmo HERO WANTED Cover Is Here!

Greetings,  Loyal Reader!

I’ll keep this short. Picture worth 1000 words and all that. The Hero Wanted cover is here! Continue reading

Jason Cosmo Hero Wanted Cover Artist Richard Hescox

Greetings, Loyal Reader!

I’ve already mentioned that the artist (or illustrator — not sure if it makes a difference) is already hard at work on the brand new cover art (or illustration, if you prefer) for the first volume of the new Jason Cosmo Series, Hero Wanted.

But I neglected to tell you who he is! If you read the title of this post, you already know it’s Continue reading