2012 UPDATE: Meisha Merlin only did one Omnibus of the planned series. In 2011, Wildside Press Borgo Imprint picked up the Sime~Gen Novels and has published all the material planned for Meisha Merlin. You can find them in paper, e-book, and audiobook on Amazon, or via our Amazon Store.
Meisha Merlin was founded by Kevin Murphy and I. He, being an artist, had a few strong suggestions about how the art department was going to be run. Kevin is not only a multiple award winning artist in the genre, he has done projects for LucasFilms, National Geographic, ViaCom, MTV, and a Rolling Stones CD cover. If he was going to be vice-president and art director for Meisha Merlin the artists would have more say and control over the covers.
He made it quite clear that Meisha Merlin would NOT develop a look that all our covers had to fall into, that each book or series would develop their own look or style. What has worked out over the past five years is a co-operation between the authors and artists to create some of the best covers in the business.
Our policy is to talk to the authors to find out what type of covers they would like. Do they want a scene from the book, a portrayal of a character, a symbolic cover of the theme...? Also, we ask the author for a listing of artists that they would like to see do their cover. Then Kevin and I go over the author's list of suggested artists and type of cover the author wants. Sometimes I will go back and talk to the author that the artist they chose does not do the style of cover they would like to have. Then the author has to decide which is more important, the style or the artist. Maybe the artist is booked for the next several months and does not have time for another project. Once in a while what the author wants is just too expensive for us to have the artist create. (That's when I put on the full plate armor to talk to the author!) Once a match is set up the two of them talk about the book or series. Usually the artist reads the book and then sends in a sketch or two of their idea. The artists talk to the authors and co-create the covers. I want to make it clear that just as the words are the authors', the covers are the artists'. Just as the author does not want to be told what they have to write and how to write it, the artist does not want to be told exactly what to paint and how to paint it! The artists like suggestions and want to create the best illustration that they can.
As in the case of S~G, Meisha Merlin will be looking for an artist to do the entire series. This way the covers will have a style or form that is consistent for the whole series. Prior match ups that have worked out fantastically are the Lee & Miller titles with Michael Herring, Diane Duane with Don Maitz, or Storm Constantine with Rick Berry. We have gotten a few e-mails already from fans concerned about the upcoming covers. We have just begun the process of selecting the artist. We are awaiting the list of requested artists from the authors right now. As readers, and fans, of the series you might want to let the authors know what you would like to see on the covers of the Meisha Merlin series. Remember we are talking about a 5½ by 8½ inch space here. What looks great on a 3 by 4 foot canvas can look busy and cluttered in the much smaller space.
Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc.