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Author Topic: The drawings in First Meetings
Erez
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I just recived yesterday my copy of First Meetings which I oredered from Amazon and was very excited to read it. When I opened the book I was horrified to find those black and white drawings of the stories which most of all resembeled the Guerrilaz VideoClips. They had almost nothing to do with the story itself, were very similar to one another (for example Ender and his Father looked exactly alike in 2 different stories and so did Jane and the IF female officer) but worst of all it reuined the flow of the reading for me and the imaging of the situation in my head. What was the point of those horrible drawings and who in their right mind thought about putting them there? I hope I'm not coming out too strong about this but I mean come on...
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scottneb
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I wasn't aware there were drawings.

My copy doesn't have any.

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mr_porteiro_head
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I thought those illustrations were great. I love the one with the snotty IF colonel (I think) and John Paul. It did a great job of capturing the feel of that encounter, IMO.
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Blackthorne
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quote:
I wasn't aware there were drawings.
You got jipped. [Taunt]
J/k, I didn't like the picture on the front. I always imagined the kids using guns in the battle room, not magic gloves.

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Hamson
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I don't like drawings at all on the cover of or within novels. Like you said, it sorta slows your flow of reading down when you have to try and imagine the character you had imagined originaly in place of the one on the cover that snuck in there. Thats why I love the covers on the Ender novels. No people, and still awesome looking. Unlike the Alvin novels...
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BeanDelphki
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The picture on the cover of my copy was ok, but the rest of the illistrations are wierd and bad.
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HandEyeProtege
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quote:
I always imagined the kids using guns in the battle room, not magic gloves.
I seem to recall that OSC said the guns were switched to gloves in preparation for the movie, in the interest of not putting more toy guns in the hands of thousands of kids with the inevitable merchandising. I can't even begin to recall where I read that, though.
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erosomniac
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I tend to object to excessive artwork in books, purely because it provides an image for you where your mind would otherwise not have one. I dislike movie versions of books for the same reason.

In this case, however, I get the feeling First Meetings was designed for the younger fans (under 18) of the Ender series', and books in that calibre often have illustrations of some kind.

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Sid Meier
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"I seem to recall that OSC said the guns were switched to gloves in preparation for the movie, in the interest of not putting more toy guns in the hands of thousands of kids with the inevitable merchandising. I can't even begin to recall where I read that, though."
[Grumble]

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Boukun
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I paid little attention to them so it didn't matter much to me. But Ender looked just as I pictured him too. I was also confused about the laser palms. I prefered the guns. [Smile]
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Verily the Younger
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Novels or short story collections made for people over the age of ten should not have illustrations in the pages.

Novels or short story collections made for people over the age of twelve should not have illustrations on the covers.

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mr_porteiro_head
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You guys obviously have differet illustrations than I have.
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neo-dragon
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"First Meetings" is obviously marketed towards a young audience. Heck, when I bought my copy a couple of summers ago I couldn't even find it because I was looking in the Sci-fi section and it was in the young adults section. The illustrations are just indicative of the target audience.

So as adults buying a "kids book", so to speak, we don't have the right to complain about childish illustrations. [Wink]

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MidnightBlue
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:wonders what people are talking about:

:finds and opens book:

Hey! Mine does have pictures! How did I miss that?

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Liz B
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I disagree, Verily. I don't love the illustrations in First Meetings, but I think illustrations of all types add an interesting dimension to literature. (Books for adults used to be illustrated -- it's more expensive, though, so illustrations were discontinued for the most part.) I like art in books because

1. It adds to the sensory experience of reading. It's more fun to pick up a book that has an attractive cover or colorful endpapers.

2. It offers insight into another reader's view of the story -- just like the visual aspects of a movie. (This is also the main drawback for people who don't like illustrations . . . they feel like they're being limited to the artist's interpretation. I'm sympathetic to this opinion, but I don't think it overrides the benefits.)

3. It can offer a unique kind of foreshadowing. Illustrations at the beginning of a chapter (like chapter titles) can give hints of what's to come, encouraging readers to predict -- and to read faster.

4. Good cover art makes people more likely to pick up a book. And I'm all for anything that makes people want to read.

5. Art can add insight. Good artists can capture nuances of character (for example) that a reader can see at a glance. This can be serious (I'm thinking of the artist's depiction of Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre on my edition of that book) or funny (John Paul leaning back in a particular illustration from "Teacher's Pest" that I remember very well). In both cases, the reader can learn more about the character from the expression and posture in the illustration.

6. It encourages thoughtfulness and critical reading. Illustrations invite speculations like "Is this how I picture the character? What part of the book is this from? Does the illustraton capture the plot/ character the way I think it should?"

In the end, the writing is what really matters, of course; but I think teen and adult readers can benefit from and enjoy illustrations just as much as do children.

-liz b

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Verily the Younger
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quote:
2. It offers insight into another reader's view of the story -- just like the visual aspects of a movie. (This is also the main drawback for people who don't like illustrations . . . they feel like they're being limited to the artist's interpretation. I'm sympathetic to this opinion, but I don't think it overrides the benefits.)

But see, when I'm reading a book for the first time, I don't want anyone else's views of the story. I want to come into it cold, and have all my reactions to it be fresh and honest instead of guided by what someone else told me this or that scene was about. After I've read the book, sure, I'll discuss it with others who have read it and listen to their views and maybe reinterpret aspects of it. But I don't want someone to sit there and describe plot points to me before I've read it, and I don't want a bunch of pictures all over the place telling me how to envision it as I read.
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Liz B
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I understand. Believe me, I do -- and I appreciate your reply. I wonder if illustrations would affect you as much if they were more common? In any case, although I sympathize with you (and even agree on a personal level -- as a reader I'm fine with and even generally prefer plain text), I still think that more illustrations would make more people better readers.

On a slightly different note, what level of illustration becomes annoying to you? I know I didn't notice the illustrations in HP until I started paying more attention to them. (HP I read as an adult.) They were far from pervasive, though, and very ignorable -- when I just read HP6, I was more or less forcing myself to notice some of the illustrations. And I don't know that I recall any of them from the later chapters.

I know that if the cover art is good, I tend to reflect on it while reading.

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Hamson
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Yes, yes. I agree with Verily.

Harry Potter never bothered me too much, the illustrations were very subtle. But once a book has been turned into a movie, and I've seen the movie, illustrations don't bother me no matter how big or catchy. Even if they contridict how the movie dipicts something (like the Harry Potter illustrations). The Movie images will override the books images in my mind if I've seen the movie, but otherwise I tend to greatly dislike books with drawings.

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sands
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sci-fi is meant to be thought about while fantasy is meant to be envisioned. Harry potter is different cause it takes place in the real world unlike Lord of the rings which should have pics.
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sands
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wait a second, gloves instead of guns? how do those work?
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MidnightBlue
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Think Spider-Man but instead of shooting webbing they shoot laserbeams. And you don't have to do that weird thing with your fingers. And the laser kind of comes out of your palm. Okay, so not like Spider-Man at all, really.
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neo-dragon
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Harry Potter has illustrations?
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0range7Penguin
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I think they meant cover art.
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0range7Penguin
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Personally I like obscure cover art like EG and most of Stephen Kings works. Often the cover art gives the wrong view of the novel. Kinda like how the cover of some of the Alvin Maker books make them look like bad romance novels
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Liz B
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HP has illustrations at the beginning of every chapter.

-lb

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kojabu
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I wish Harry's scar were in the middle of his head, that's the only thing I don't like about the transition from book to movie.
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MidnightBlue
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None of the characters look the way I picture them, so I just think of them as two separate stories. When I'm reading, I pay extra attention to the descriptions so that I can keep my version in my head.
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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Liz B:
HP has illustrations at the beginning of every chapter.

-lb

Mine don't. I have the "adult editions". They're designed to look more like regular novels rather than kids books. I didn't know that any of the content was different though, but I really don't care about illustrations anyway.
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Liz B
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Huh. I'm interested. I don't know that I've ever seen an "adult edition." Is the cover art different? Is it a US edition? Although now that I think about it, I may remember seeing a pb that is mass-market size (rather than the larger trade pb), with maybe a blue cover. Is that what you have?

I do think it's a shame to lose the illustrations. One of the things that's nice about the audio CD version as opposed to the tapes is that the CDs come in folders that have illustrations from the books.

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neo-dragon
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I'm not sure that there are adult editions in the States. According to the copyright info, they're printed here in Canada. Here's what they look like:
Philosopher's Stone
Chamber of Secrets
Prisoner of Azkaban
The Goblet of Fire
Order of the Phoenix
Half-Blood Prince

They're regular mass-market paperback size. They also come in hardcover editions. The spine and back are black, with the title in gold lettering on the spine. They cost the same as the regular editions. Like I said, I don't care about illustrations, so I think these editions are great for adult readers who don't like the look of "kid books" on their bookshelf, or who want to look more sophisticated when reading HP in public [Big Grin]

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Suri-cool
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Yeah the Hp's illustartions actully make sense with the story. The first meetings ones contradicted it.
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Orson Scott Card
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I didn't ask for First Meetings to have illustrations. I was not consulted about them.

The original First Meetings was published as a limited edition on the occasion of EnderCon. Then, when TOR wanted to do a trade edition, I added a story to it (Teacher's Pest). I did not know - no one ever implied to me - that it would be a Young Adult book. Or that they would illustrate it. And I was not appreciative of the style, quality, or choice of subject of the illustrations. I communicated this to the editor and it made no difference at all.

Just in case you think the author has any power over what happens to his books ...

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neo-dragon
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I figured as much. I always hear about how authors don't have any control over any thing that comes after their final manuscript.
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