As I have said before, I am a huge fan of Michael Whelan’s art. The main reason is that his artwork is always the whole package. He is not just good at creatures, dragons, or technology but everything else as well. I have seen many covers where the backgrounds were cheesy compared to the foreground elements or a reference item, such as a space ship, obviously came from another franchise. Some covers depict scenes incorrectly or scenes that never took place in the story. Michael Whelan’s covers; however, almost always show his grasp of the story and are usually technically correct.
Another reason I feel his work is the whole package is that he is a talented landscape artist. His images not only show strange and wonderful aliens, robots, and creatures but does so with believable background land or city-scapes. The subjects do not come off as being slapped onto a background at random or of little effort. Finally, even his signature is done well. One of the fun things a friend and I would do whenever we found a new Whelan cover would be to search for the symbol that was his signature on most of his painting. In most cases, he would incorporate it into some part of the image. Sometimes carved into a stone in the background, at others part of an electric circuit of a robot. The challenge was to see who found it first. I encourage you to visit his website and explore his many amazing works. I have a link to the site on the left hand site of this blog.