Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Of Hippogriffs and Cocadrill-Serpents

The world didn't ask for it, but it's coming anyway: a new wrap-around book cover for The Worm Ouroboros. Here's the progress I've made so far:

It's a stylized landscape showing Koshtra Pivrarcha, Koshtra Belorn, and the Lake of Ravary. In the distance we glimpse the Bhavinan and Morna Moruna. The Lords Juss and Brandoch Daha stand before Sophonisba; poor Mivarsh Faz is about to become dinner for a cocadrill-serpent. I've purposefully incorporated images from Keith Henderson's illustrations, including this hippogriff:

The style is somewhat inspired by Persian miniatures. I don't do justice to the tradition, of course, but I'd like to try my hand at adapting it again in the near future. At any rate, the Iliad and Icelandic sagas are often mentioned in connection with The Worm Ouroboros, but I've always detected something distinctly Oriental in it as well.

Mivarsh's legs echo Brueghel's painting of the fall of Icarus, which I've always found humorous:

A giant landscape, with the purported subject represented by two tiny legs kicking in the corner. Poor Icarus! And poor Mivarsh! Who told us that he was destined to be devoured by a crocodile, and then was devoured by a crocodile.


  1. W. H. Auden wrote a great poem about that painting, that seems to represent the indifference of nature to personal tragedies in a low-key way.

    1. I'll have to look for that. I've always been struck by the painting in that way.