Old Soldiers Never Die

scan0009One of my pet peeves with doing book covers is the “who shot John” phase after a book tanks. Invariably it is blamed on the cover – but when the book sells well it’s the author who is solely responsible…but to be honest I am guilty of a similar crime. If one of my covers looks bad, I’ll usually dump it in the lap of the designer that handled the type.

This is one of my faves out of the TREK cover line, but it enjoyed a brief stay in my portfolio. When I heard “Great illustration but that type…” for the third time I pulled it out. I wasn’t happy about it though because it was the kind of thing I lived for: good likeness of George Takei, nice retro-design of a Romulan war “clumsy cylindrical ship” and the whole thing pulled together in a nice thematic design.

Unfortunately this was produced in March of 1986 – the Pre-Jeff era. Jeff Laubenstein was a staff artist at FASA and is (without a doubt) the best typographer I have ever worked with or ever knew of. You could put  a photo of dog-vomit on a cover and Jeff would design type that would make it look good. Luckily, he was soon regularly handling the cover type on just about everything I did for FASA.

Same technical stuff – Mixed Method/Medium on hot-press watercolor board.

1 thought on “Old Soldiers Never Die

  1. On the secondary market, this set of books (“Old Soldiers Never Die” and its bundled sourcebook “The Romulan War”) is probably the most difficult and costly to acquire!

    The author of the sourcebook used information from Fred and Stan Goldstein’s “Spaceflight Chronology” (most of FASA’s source material initially came from that work), but he changed what he didn’t like and made up his own explanations as to why the SFC material was wrong. In my opinion, it really tainted the book and its my least favorite FASA supplement.

    “Spaceflight Chronology” is an amazing work that is a superior “vision of the future” than what Paramount created and continues to create. FASA continued in that vein (except for the aforementioned sourcebook above).

    Thanks for all this great insight!

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