I'm pretty sure most of the Charles de Lint I've read can be traced back to John Jude Palencar's gorgeous covers. I'm not exactly enamored of de Lint's writing, but I don't think he's a bad writer or anything. I like how humane he is -- there is something very kind and gentle about his storytelling style -- but there's also something essentially dorky that embarrasses me. Like when I'd go to the grocery store with my parents, and my dad would run into sixteen people he knew and then there's be a huge conversation about local politics and whatnot, and I'd just die. My dad wasn't doing anything wrong -- probably he was doing something right -- but come onnnnnn let's gooooo. Doesn't exactly speak well of me, but there you have it.
Cover for de Lint's Portraits of the Heart
Cover for de Lint's Muse and Reverie, for which he won the Hamilton King Award
Hell, the fact that Eragon has a Palencar cover was not an insignificant factor in my reading that hilarious nonsense.The Eragon covers aren't my favorite of his stuff, nor are they exactly representational. But I like how the dragon portraits have this edge of goofiness. That they're framed like traditional portraiture is a very funny choice, when you think about it. Usually dragons are depicted with their whole bodies, often in motion, whereas Saphira is side-eyeing the viewer. It's like she's in a school photo or in a light box in Sears, which is adorably awkward and almost sly.
Palencar has covered roughly a thousand books so far in his career. I've since wised up to buying de Lint titles solely on the strength of their covers -- check the reviews first, stupid! -- but there are a lot more books out there to tempt me. The Kushiel's Dart series, for example, I know I should stay away from, but good lord do the covers tempt me.
Damn you, John Jude Palencar.