|"Z-World" courtesy of Michael Whelan. CLICK TO EMBIGGEN|
I have no idea what Michael charges now, but it's probably ten years of my current salary. If St. Martins can afford to pay Amanda Hocking $2 million to write some mermaid books, then to get someone like Whelan to do a cover is probably going to cost equally as much if not more. My guess is probably a couple million, minimum, per painting. Especially since he can just shrug and say, "I don't need you...I have as much money as I'll ever need to take care of my family and send my kids to school, etc." That's what I meant yesterday by the phrase "F U Money." It's a term I coined with my friend James to describe a turning point in a person's career where you choose your own destiny and could care less about outside forces (like the need to eat and have a place to sleep).
Consequently, I heard that these covers on the six books when arranged in order on the shelf, create the entire image that you see using the spines. That would be a cool effect. Be sure to embiggen and check out the details on all the pillars. That's why I chose this particular piece as a favorite. It showcases Michael's obsession with detail. Nothing is too small to be overlooked.
FACT: The only contemporary that Michael has been compared to is the artist H.R. Giger and vice-versa. They are completely different artists, but equally as great. I prefer Whelan to Giger myself. Giger scares me.