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Book Cover Smackdown! ‘The Living Dead 2’ vs. ‘Black Widow: Deadly Origin #4’ vs. ‘Walking the Tree’

It is perhaps a bit unfair to pit a zombie book, a comic and a fantasy book against one another, but damn…these covers are just too nice to not share…

Your Mission (should you choose to accept it): Tell us which cover you like best and why.

Books shown here:

NOTE: Bigger, better cover art images are available by clicking the images or title links…

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

13 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘The Living Dead 2’ vs. ‘Black Widow: Deadly Origin #4’ vs. ‘Walking the Tree’

  1. The Living Dead 2 wins.

  2. Walking the Tree. It evokes a positive feeling in me, and I can almost feel the warm, humid air of the landscape.

  3. The Walking Tree wins this one easily. It’s the only one showing much in the way of creative art design.

  4. euphrosyne // December 13, 2009 at 1:57 pm //

    They’re all pretty good in their own niche, I’d say. I’m not a zombie fan, but if I were I’d pick up LD2. The Black Widow cover is very catchy–retro doesn’t do it for me but this cover is just unique enough to make me wonder whether it’s kitsch or something more…I actually want to like Walking the Tree best, but there’s not quite enough zing to propel me past the title. Too monochrome perhaps?

  5. Curvaseous  female in a space suit catches my eye everytime.

  6. Christopher Meyer // December 13, 2009 at 5:35 pm //

    Black Widow Deadly Origin, for sure. The reason: Boobs πŸ™‚

  7. “Walking the Tree” for me. I like how it reminds me of the style used for a lot of 60’s/70’s science fiction paperbacks. I can’t say I enjoy the tiny painting, big text style used on books like “Living Dead” 2 and boobs in space is just too easy, isn’t it?

  8. Fantastic covers all, and once again it makes the choice difficult.

    Living Dead is obviously perfect for the subject matter…and makes me want to run out and pick up Left for Dead 2, by the way. πŸ™‚

    Adi Granov’s cover art is consistently stunning.  His images have a softness to them and his women are absolutely gorgeous.  This one is especially nice because it gives a nod to many retro space girl images I’ve seen over the years.  Good girl art at its best.

    Walking the Tree image is very, very nice.  It has a real classic vibe to it.  I could imagine the book being something from many decades back, with cover art that just makes you want to pick it up (and I mean the ‘decades back’ comparison as a compliment). 

    So, the nod goes ever so slightly to Walking the Tree…I think.

  9. Walking the Tree for me.  The title makes me curious, and the painting enhances the feeling.  It could be SF or fantasy, and I like the ambiguity.  Like the verdant, somber colours and the lived-in feeling of the image; people inhabit this world.

    Living Dead 2, not so much.  The image feels a bit expected, though quite apt, given the title.  That would be appealing enough and I like the humour of the image.  But I don’t like the way the overall design looks as though someone created a plain rectangle in Photoshop, then slapped the image onto the top half and the contents onto the bottom.  I don’t think the layout does the image justice; it’s blocky, visually unappealing, and feels, frankly, kinda lazy.  It’d be the authors’ names on the covers that would induce me to pick this one up.

    Black Widow; meh.  It’s beautifully rendered, but one tires, not so much of cheesecake (cheesecake’s always fun), but of the same approach to it, the same features, the same body type, same age range, the same racial phenotype.  I know I’m probably way outnumbered by the target market in this opinion.  Bitchin boots, though.  I’d consider owning a pair of those.

  10. Gonna have to go with Walking the Tree, though the image is a little murky.  The title’s intriguing, the image more so, and I would definitely pick it up to read the back blurb.  Ellen Datlow’s blurb holds weight for me, since I’ve liked her anthologies for years.  Living Dead 2 is a close second, but I’m going to buy it regardless; liked the first volume too much to care what’s on the cover.  =)

    Black Widow’s cover is a distinct turnoff.  I don’t have much interest in retro SF, for one, but for another this cover says to me, “Hey, guys! Check out this pinup of a hot dame! (With some story maybe.)”  It’s clear that there’s no other point to the book beyond titillation, and it doesn’t seem to be trying to appeal to people who have no idea who/what Black Widow is, or whether/why they should care.  So fine, let those folks read it, I’ll go read something else.

  11. It would be nice if we had gotten past curvaceous females on the covers of SF books by now. I guess it is an improvement that she isn’t being grabbed by a monster.  But with all the attention given to the picture not the author or title, the cover says to me,  (as Jemisin says above) “Who cares what it is about! Look! Hot chick!”


    I’ll go with Walking the Tree as my fav. Title is clear, the Blurb tells me what kind of book it is and the art looks interesting.

  12. No matter what is done with female characters in any form of media it will always be wrong. 


    My pick is the Walking Tree, but in all honesty none of these covers make me want to read the book.  Of course, neither to the book titles.

  13. All three are great covers, and I’m a fan of all three illustrators. I think Walking the Tree edges out in front for me, because I love the atmosphere it evokes and it makes me want to know more about the story (which is what covers should do).

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