As I’m writing about dinosaurs in SF, Hugos and because I’ve written about book covers a lot, I just need to write a short post about the cover art to “The Mystery of Ireta” aka Dinosaur Planet book 1 and 2 (2004 Del Rey edition)
Here’s the cover art zoomed in:
It does rather look like that the t-rex is trying to spit rainbows at that pterodactyl. There’s obviously a lot of skill and thought put into the painting but the composition is a bit off.
The painting is actually by the Hugo Award winning artist Bob Eggleton, who has painted many many dinosaurs, dragons and Godzillas over the years. He’s been a finalist for Best Professional Artist over twenty times and won eight times — so he knows his stuff.
The issue becomes a bit clearer when looking at the same image on his website:
The poor pterodactyl got moved so that it would fit into the cropped section of the bigger painting. The move put the flying reptile along the same band as the t-rex’s gaze and the two rainbows creating that weird visual connection between the two animals.
The painting itself also has a Hugo connection:
“Sue’s World (2000) Done for one of the two covers for the program books to Chicon 2000, held in Chicago Aug 31st to Sept. 4th 2000. Chicago’s Field Museum is the home to “Sue” the T-Rex, the largest T-Rex skeleton ever found.”http://www.bobeggleton.com/html/Galleries/Dinosaurs/dino3.html
Chicon 2000 being the 58th Worldcon. To tie that back into the Hugosauriad, Michael Swanwick’s “Scherzo with Tyrranosaur” won the Hugo for Best Short Story that year. And for File 770 readers, guess who won Best Fanzine that year!