Mon
Feb 27 2012 12:00pm

Announcing Michael Whelan on the A Memory of Light Print Cover

A while ago we announced that Michael Whelan will be creating the ebook cover art for A Memory of Light, the final volume of The Wheel of Time. I am proud to announce that his artwork will also be used in the print edition.

Everyone at Tor was deeply saddened to hear the news that Darrell K. Sweet had passed away and deciding how to complete the series without him was a challenge that none of us wanted. In choosing Michael Whelan, however, the series gains an artist who has dedicated his four-decade-long career to interpreting fantasy and science fiction literature in a way that is true to the source material while serving as an inspirational centerpiece on its own. We are thrilled to have him on board for this series.

From Whelan himself: “I’m flattered to no end to have been asked to work on such a prestigious and popular project. My only regret is that it had to come under such unfortunate circumstances; I never would have accepted had Darrell been here to see the Wheel of Time saga to it’s completion. It will always remain a testament to his career, and I’m humbled to stand in his shadow for the work on the final volume.”

We do not have a cover reveal date yet but rest assured we will reveal it as soon as possible.

This article is part of A Memory of Light: ‹ previous | index | next ›
40 comments
April Moore
2. aprildmoore
LOL @Terez27. You are too bloody clever! ;-) But I love Whelan's work and could never have found fault with this news.
Theresa Gray
3. Terez27
I agree, he does beautiful work. He rarely does covers these days, so we are quite lucky!
Alice Arneson
4. Wetlandernw
WHEEEEEEEEE! Also, SQUEEEEEEE!!

Good job, Terez. This is one theory I'm totally thrilled to see proven true. :) And I'm so eager to see the artwork, though I'm sure we're many months away from that yet,
Theresa Gray
5. Terez27
Yeah, I would guess 8-9 months at the soonest, based on the infoWSNBN that we already have.
sleepinghour
6. sleepinghour
Glad to hear Whelan's cover will be used in the print edition. Is he going to use Darrel K. Sweet's concept or something of his own? Also, since Sweet already sent Tor some concept art before he passed away, will that be posted sometime?
James Hogan
7. Sonofthunder
Amazing news!!! Can't wait to see this cover...so so thrilled that Whelan will be doing it. Well done, Irene - thank you!!
sleepinghour
8. BlackAjah
A seemingly sound choice on the part of Tor. I especially like the "A Way of Kings" cover and it even seems remotely DKSish. I only hope that Tor does right by the sake of continuity and at least shows us the DKS picture (however much of it was complete) on the inside jacket, or in the forst few pages a la TEOTW had a secondary painting inside...can we PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE see what DKS had in mind, we've been with him for 23 years! There was some let down with the release date and with no eBook prints still for sale, hopefully we'll get to see this image in AMOL.
Theresa Gray
9. Terez27
@sleepinghour—Brandon addressed that question in his blog on DKS's passing. I'm guessing that Whelan has to read the book first before he will decide, or they would have told us. Though Jason seems to be assuming he won't use it.
Irene Gallo
10. Irene
Michael is not working with the same concept that Darrell was. It seemed fairer to both artists to let their work be judged on their own merits.

I do hope we can show the sketch at some point but, that will have to be approved by those above me and, again, I’d like to give Michael the space to have his cover judge on its own before showing Darrell’s begininngs.

I was just talking to Tom Doherty and he mentioned to me, again, how pleased he is that Michael is on this and how sorry he is the Darrell isn’t. We’d like to honor both artists.
Sam Mickel
11. Samadai
This is great news. I am sure he will be able to bring great Justice to the last book.
sleepinghour
12. BlackAjah
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Harriet, Please show us the unfinished DKS cover!! Yeah the guy had a bad wrap over the years but most of us still LOVED him and LOVE the WoT covers! With Jason telling us it's one of his best, well, it's unbearable thinking we might never get to see it. Please incorporate into AMOL...it won't "take away" from Whelan's vision, because his vision will be....ON THE COVER!!!!
Theresa Gray
13. Terez27
@Irene—Thanks for filling us in. And please tell Mr. Whelan, thank you very much. I know he has some pretty strict terms for doing covers, and he seems to be bending them at least a little bit here. We are honored that he was willing to do so.
Alice Arneson
14. Wetlandernw
Irene, do you know if Whelan's cover is anticipated to make use of the same scene (not necessarily concept) as Sweet was using, or will it be up to him to decide what scene from the whole book to use? I only ask because Brandon had shared just a little about how the Sweet concept had been approached, and I was eager to see it.
sleepinghour
15. BlackAjah
@Wetlandernw can you please share what BS shared about how the Sweet concept had been approached? I definitely am in the dark with regards to this...thx!
Ron Garrison
16. Man-0-Manetheran
It might be an interesting tribute if Whelan were to complete Sweet's concept art - much in the way BWS is completing RJ's work. What greater tribute to an artist or author than when their work is so loved by their fans that the thought of it not being completed is unacceptable.
Theresa Gray
17. Terez27
@BlackAjah—Here you go.
Mr. Sweet did finish a concept, which I have seen, but did not finish the entire illustration. No decision has been made yet whether another artist will take this concept and do a final piece according to it, or if the book cover will be scrapped and a new concept done. I will let you know.
As far as I know, that's all he said on it.
Theresa Gray
18. Terez27
MoM@16—Irene said @10 that he's not doing it, and why. I know where you're coming from, but I think it's a good choice.
A.J. Bobo
19. Daedylus
Wow. Just wow. I don't even know what to say other than I am now more excited for AMoL than I was 10 minutes ago, if that's possible.
sleepinghour
20. trench
Great news, I had so hoped he would be willing to step up and give us a cover for aMoL. Thank you for making the best of a bad situation, and thank you Mr. Whelan for being so generous to us.
sleepinghour
21. Ghenjei
This is GREAT NEWS! Whelan is an outstanding artist who really gets high fantasy. Couldn't ask for a better pick. While I join in those who would like to see DKS's rough outline mainly for closure's sake (his cover for EoTW is what brought me into this crazy thing 20 years ago), I am confident that Whelan will be able to get the "feel" of the WoT right.
sleepinghour
22. Kenneth G. Cavness
I am absolutely delighted at this choice. Simply delighted!
Alice Arneson
23. Wetlandernw
BlackAjah @15 - In a conversation at a signing (14 Sep 2010) the subject of the cover art came up. My recording of the conversation got wiped out by a certain 9-year-old, so I can't give the exact wording, but he said something like this. Mr. Sweet needed something to work with, to get started on the AMoL cover art, so Harriet went to Brandon and asked if he had any suggestions. He immediately thought of a particular event or scene which hadn't yet been written, but of which he had a pretty good mental image. He wrote up a 3-4 page description of the scene for her; she liked it and passed it on to DKS. At the time of my conversation with him, he had seen (what I now realize was) the concept art, and he loved it. It was, in his opinion, the best in the series. With the awareness that Brandon has always liked the DKS art, it seemed like a pretty high recommendation. It also made me really want to see it - both the art itself, and the scene Brandon thought would be the perfect cover for the final book.

Terez - This is one of those many tidbits from that signing for which I have neither notes nor recording, so I only think about it when the subject actually comes up. I wonder how long this will keep happening... Apologies, again, for the lack of documentation for that event.
sleepinghour
24. BlackAjah
@Wetlandernw Thanks for recounting this! Very fascinating, but it makes me that much more sad that we might not be able to see this....it sound E P I C!!!! I'm glad about Whelan, but miss DKS already. Oh well, the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills...
Theresa Gray
25. Terez27
@Wetlander—I can see now that I'm going to have to start stalking you like I do Brandon, hoping you'll drop a tidbit here and there. It's all a part of the plan, isn't it?
Alice Arneson
26. Wetlandernw
Rats. I revealed too much, and now she's on to me...

I really am trying to collect what I can in a presentable format (or at least an emailable one!), but I keep realizing there are a lot of things like this. I can reconstruct the questions I asked and at least paraphrase his answers to those, but there was a big long chunk at the end of the evening, when he was signing stock copies, that a bunch of us were just hanging around chatting. Since I was recording it all (except for once when he asked me not to record his very frank answer to one question - not WoT related) I didn't worry about taking notes and just had fun with the group. To say that I was disappointed when I discovered that my son had not only figured out how to erase files, but he had erased those two files... "understatement" doesn't come close. FWIW, if I remember anything I think you'd want, I'll try to message you somehow.
Theresa Gray
27. Terez27
For now I will make this an addendum to Brandon's post about DKS. I think it adds some important context.
Fake Name
28. ThePendragon
Awesome. He's my favorite fantasy artist. This was truly the only real choice that could be made. Well done!
Anthony Pero
29. anthonypero
ThePendragon@28:

Actually, Whelan is retired. He agreed to do The Way of Kings artwork as a one off... then to do this for the final book (the eBook). So, it was no certain thing. Although, with him doing the eBook, it was really, really likely :)
Brent Longstaff
30. Brentus
Fantastic choice. It's a shame DKS couldn't do the last cover, but Michael Whelan is the best possible replacement since that isn't possible. And I'd already been hoping Whelan would do the AMoL e-book cover since many of the best artists have contributed to those, and he hadn't until now.
Nadine L.
31. travyl
This is great news, thanks Irene.
Terez you are awsome, feel free to share any of your theories,
except the end, I want to read that without knowing it ;)

Samadai @11:
I am sure he will be able to bring great Justice to the last book.
Don't you think it more likely we would see Callandor if there is a sword on the cover? I know Rand carries Justice but I wouldn't suspect it so important that it gets a prominent (i.e. "great") place on the cover ;-)
Barry T
33. blindillusion
Looking forward to this. Loved the cover for WoK.

Hoping either the hb or ebook cover depicts Rand, Mat and Perrin together. Can't wait to see.

Blind
lake sidey
34. lakesidey
This is indeed great news. Thank you so much, Mr. Whelan (and Tor as well). I didn't think it was possible for me to look forward more to aMoL than I already did....but it just happened :o)

(obsqueee)

~lakesidey
sleepinghour
35. Sir Read-a-Lot
So, they're revealing the reveal date as soon as possible?
sleepinghour
36. Brian Tidwell
An excellent choice! I'm a huge Whelan fan!
Keelyn Wright
37. Keelyn
This is great, I love Michael Whelan's art, especially the cover for Way of Kings. Only problem is, is that this is going to make me even *more* impatient for the release of A Memory of Light, though I'm sure the wait will be well worth it.
Melissa Spray
38. meowwl
Mr. Whelan would have been my first choice for this, if I'd been the one deciding. Frankly, I think there are only two others who could have pulled this off...Greg Hildebrandt, or Larry Elmore were my other picks for pulling this off.

I'm very happy to see an artist near and dear to my heart doing this. The covers he did for Anne Mccaffrey's Dragonriders books got me into scifi, and got my mother to stop arguing with me about reading it....She got bored, and picked up my copy of "The White Dragon" to read, because "It had a pretty cover." and I never heard a complaint about my preferred genre again!
Theresa Gray
39. Terez27
meowwls in your dressing room...

meowwls in your gravy...

even if you hide at sea...

there's owls in the navy!
sleepinghour
40. Spinoza Ray Prozak
Any guy who created the album cover for Obituary's "Cause of Death" and Sepultura's "Beneath the Remains" is obviously a superior choice for any book cover.

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