Ahhh… Game of Thrones in Japanese on marble in the house. Almost better than the Robb Report right here. Perfect credit at the Iron Bank.
I’m thinking it may be time to do a reread of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire since HBO hasn’t blessed us yet with a off-season spin-off nor has Martin delivered Winds of Winter outside of some sample chapters.
Was anybody like me and years ago would find their way to George R. R. Martin’s site and somehow through all of those navigation menus find yourselves in the cover gallery and just being in awe of all of the international covers adorning our A Song of Ice and Fire all around the world?
I have a bunch of editions of books from around the world, galleys/ARC’s, and such but my favorites are these pocket-sized editions from the motherland, Japan (though some of the French covers are pretty interesting too). Also, the mere idea of pocket-sized A Song of Ice and Fire is a novel idea to anyone that grew up reading these tomes.
I know some segments of fandom of any mega-popular property hate seeing interpretations that aren’t lifted straight out of the source material or stray too far from traditional but you often have to go overseas to see anything that isn’t sterile in my opinion, minus some random Jeffrey Catherine Jones and John Howe covers. While I was reviewing books every week for years I’d often get both the U.S. and UK version of the same book sent to me and marvel at how very few times the american version appealed to me more. I do think it has improved as of late, though admittedly I’m less day-by-day in the field than I used to be when I saw almost literally everything. Personally now, in my digital world, book covers on new books are largely irrelevant to me. That’s not a knock on incredible artists and art directors (I buy original art) but typically I know what writers I’m buying and the appeal of the cover is not going to change that.
That’s why in the comics I’m always amused by the number of variant covers issues have which are purely directed at retailers in an archaic distribution system. In the digital age how much time do you actually spend looking at them? It’s kind of silly to me though there are instances of true attention grabbing runs like James Jean covers on Fables.
That said, as much as I enjoy these Japanese covers I don’t need to see it go any further for A Song of Ice and Fire on the far eastern flavor front but I am still holding out for some badass epic long anime of Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen. I just don’t think a live action is filmable unless they drastically cut it down, maybe into some Bridgeburner Band of Brothers-ish project. In saying that I realize we live in a world where the previously thought of as unfilmable tend to hit theaters like Watchmen, The Lord of the Rings, and actually the idea that Game of Thrones is on TV like it is now, the way it is now, would be unheard of 10 years ago. So I have some hope in a world where even MTV is making scripted epic fantasy adaptations now.