Haunting Beauty: Apex Magazine's Cover Art, guys, you know that I'm a major lover of vivid and funky sci-fi/fantasy cover art (refresh your memory here if necessary). So you won't be surprised when I fall all over myself to show you some of the beautiful images recently (and not so recently) featured on the cover of Apex Magazine.

Like great literature, great art invites you to make connections across time and space, recognizing older, influential works in newly-painted landscapes or portraits. This is what happened when I looked at recent Apex covers, particularly those featuring solitary female figures. Below are four of my favorites:

November 2013 - Issue 54
I saw this cover and immediately thought "Lucia di Lammermoor!" (you know, the poor woman who goes insane in the Walter Scott novel & the Donizetti opera?). Anyway, I love the ghostly, red-haired figure floating anonymously in the center- that splash of color against a brown-gray background perfectly prepares the reader for a story of suspense and surprise. Cover art by Galen Dara.
October 2013 - Issue 53

Here we have a girl daintily holding a glass of wine(?), on a mechanical horse on a unicycle. You, Bruce Holwerda, you know your way around steampunk in a lovely way.
March 2013 - Issue 46
I suppose anyone whose head was stuck in a fishbowl would be depressed, especially if there were fish still in the bowl. The fish, though- the fish have no problem with the arrangement. A beautiful evocation of movement and contrast between orange and green. Cover art: “Mistaken Identity” by Ken Wong.
November 2011 - Issue 30

 Please, please tell me that I'm not the only one who saw this cover and immediately thought of paintings by John William Waterhouse, specifically Boreas (1903) and Windflowers (1903). The orientation here, though, is reversed, suggesting a sinister inversion of reality (the skulls and bones and dead flowers kinda help that along). Cover art by Scott Murphy.

Great covers must equal great content, right? In Apex Magazine's case, yes.

Check 'em out here:

1 comment:

  1. That steampunk girl on the unicycle is just crazy! all those details, I love it! and the girl with the fishbowl (complete with fish) is so surreal.

    and now i wanna go study some opera so I can get all the cool people jokes. ;)