Red Country US Cover

April 8th, 2012

Ooh.  Lookee here:

I’ve been up at Eastercon since Thursday night, and hence totally failed to co-ordinate my posting.  Designer Lauren Panepinto already put it up a couple of days ago.

But, nonetheless, let fly the legions of strange and wonderful comments I have come to expect whenever I present a cover.

Also, you can catch a little teaser over here

Posted in artwork by Joe Abercrombie on April 8th, 2012.

78 comments so far

  • Travis says:


  • Andrew says:

    What kind of involvement did you have when the teaser was being made? Did you suggest the imagery and colours to be used? Was that music recorded just for the trailer?

  • GC says:

    looking like I’ll be ordering from AGAIN.

  • Doug Watt says:

    How many fingers does that guy have?

  • Chris Berez says:

    Any idea when we might see the UK cover? Will it be keeping with the style of the previous books? I’ve really been much preferring the style of the UK covers, myself. And I’ll probably be ordering from the UK anyway since it comes out earlier there. Of course, even more important than the cover is the book beneath it, which I cannot wait for! I’ll be counting down the weeks all summer.

  • Bishop says:

    Looks like a cool film trailer!

    I guess the UK cover will be the classic map-type cover in the style of the previous books?

  • Dave Knapp says:

    Nine-fingered left handprint! Nine-fingered left handprint! I just did something in my pants! (Although, I was hoping for more Gorst… to paraphrase, “I fucking LOVE Gorst!)

  • Caligula_K says:

    The American covers for your books have always been pretty awful, but this one is particularly bad. Especially because, as others have pointed out, it looks like the title of the book is Red Country Joe (which may not be exactly what you were going for). Still, here’s to an awesome British cover and what I’m sure will be a great book!

  • Silvio says:

    Ahem… Joe, I love the covers of your books as much I love the books themselves, and I love them much. I’m eagerly waiting for Red Country but… You simply can’t wield a sabre/spadoon/backsword in that way.
    But I have to say that it suggests very well the “Game of Thrones meets The Good, The Bad And The Ugly” feeling that the book will (probably?) have…

  • Drew says:

    Count the fingers on the top hand.

  • marion says:

    Can’t tell… Does that lad have 9 fingers 🙁 boo u big tease.. Bet u f***ing love it

  • AJ says:

    The Easter Bunny AND the new Abercrombie book cover? And, yes, I do believe I count only 9 fingers! If I weren’t sitting, I’d be jumping up and down . . .

  • Any news on the UK cover? Actually I’ll probably get the audiobook from Audible again, so it doesn’t matter too much to me. I love the covers of your first five books though so hope it’s in the same vein.

  • Murph says:

    That teaser could be a trailer for an awesome short horror animation….getting excited about the book now 🙂

  • Sam says:

    Joe, you legend, please remember Last Argument of Kings is the best book ever written by man. I no you’ve got deadlines but I assure you if this book is rushed it would be a tragedy. Every man needs money, but please don’t disappoint me. Sam Bosson,21, from Garstang

  • Redhead says:

    Excellent! can’t wait to get my filthy little hands on it!!

  • Simon says:

    I like it, it’s got a Cormac McCarthy type thing going on with the text

  • Sketch says:

    That bloody is a middle finger missing from his left hand! I like the chunk out of the ear as well, nice touch. These US covers really are good. Would probably make sense the American market’d be keen to get hold of this one, given Western is a distinctly American theme. Trailer’s very cool too.

  • Cara says:

    Does that lad have 9 fingers

    Heh, he’s got 4 knuckles on the other hand, perhaps he’s lost the first joint of his finger. His ear has gotten nicked a bit too.

    Looks like Red Country will be violets and roses, cotton soft and cute :p

  • Jules says:

    Say one thing about this bloody cover…say it’s bloody gorgeous.

  • Claven says:

    Oh you bloody tease… me and gf just spent a good few minutes examining that picture and trying to figure out whether he really has a missing finger on his left hand or not.

    Can’t wait.

  • Claven says:

    …well, Logen is obviously missing the middle finger on his left hand on the cover in this article:

    So I’m inclined to believe my most favourite character will be making a major comeback 🙂

  • Matt says:

    my first reaction was “Meh, it’s okay.” Then I saw the missing left finger and I changed to “BEST COVER EVERRRRR!”

    The ear notch and the salt and pepper beard also get the point across nicely.

    As for the rest of the cover…Who laid the text out? It’s all congested and the sizes are wrong. And the quote, it’s true enough I suppose, but aren’t we past having to compare every fantasy novel to Tolkien? A comparison to Martin would draw more readers anyway these days, and be less cliche.

    The good news is that the cover matters not, all we care about is the extreme goodness inside.

    Does Canada get this cover as well?

  • Hammer says:

    On further reflection this cover isn’t bad. I still believe its generic and that your work deserves better however. I believe if you could get an artist like Jon Foster to illustrate your great books and do them some justice you could double your popularity with new readers.

  • JamesM says:

    that is awesome!

  • BC Woods says:

    Well… based upon the number and position of the fingers on that cover, I’m going to go schedule some vacation time now.

  • Jan says:

    And if anyone is in any doubts, well check the teaser…
    Excellent choice of music by the way!

    (Goddammit, now I wont rest until October)

  • Nick says:


  • Phil Norris says:

    I commented in the previous post about this, but will repeat what I said. Not loving the US cover, don’t know why but it just doesn’t grab me. Nice that it follows on from the recently re-released First Law and BSC paperbacks though.

    I’m hoping that the UK cover will carry on the “damaged parchment” style with a map and weapon of choice. Purely for selfish reasons because then it can sit nicely on my shelf with the other five books.

    So nine-fingered character on the US cover & nine-fingered bloody hand print in the trailer. Take it we can safely assume the worst kept secret about this book is now properly blown? 🙂

    Six months and counting.

  • Iangr says:

    That design artist is really talented!
    Joe,get ‘im to do your face in the book author bio!

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    UK will be in the familiar parchmenty style.

    Very little involvement in the teaser. Jen, the excellent marketing person for Gollancz is chiefly responsible. I see it before it goes out.

  • bryce says:

    Logan in ‘The searchers’ on speed, type of journey. What’s not to like?

  • bryce says:

    Logen, apologies, too excited…

  • ColinJ says:

    Say one thing about Logen Ninefingers… he knows better than to wield a pansy-ass sword like that.

    Although you can never have too many knives.

  • Longbowman says:

    I think I will order from Amazon UK for keeping with the parchmenty style. I like them better than what our US publishers are giving us. I like them but I want to keep a style going with what I already have. I would prefer that the sword not be a cutlass, especially if two hands are to be used. I think a hand and a half sword in the same pose would have been nice but the “supposed” missing finger might have been too “in your face”. But it is not the book cover I am excited about, it is what is inside the cover!!!

  • A-drain says:

    What! I totally missed the lost finger and notched ear.

    That bit of information turned me around on the cover. It felt, to me, like a trendy cover then you add that information and it feels like a clever cover.

    Nice job.

    Side question: Some people have the little picture icon next to thier post. How does one accomplish such a feat?

  • JenMo says:

    I dig. Definitely falls in line with previous US covers.

  • Phil Norris says:

    I suppose the cutlass can easily be explained considering the other major character also in this book.

  • Katie says:

    I prefer the parchmenty style but it is SO nice to see Logen after all this time! I’ve missed him!

  • Rio says:

    The perfect cover!

    No for you next book I want an image of Shivers showing his steel eye!

  • Curtis says:

    Joe, what about a short story (about Logen) for your blog readers? Something to whet the appetite before the entree. you know you have something laying around old chum, just a taste…

  • David says:

    9 fingers on the rock in blood.

  • Liam says:

    Any idea whether we Canadians can expect to be seeing the UK cover on bookshelves, or the US? seems to have both the Orbit and Gollancz versions, and my hardcover of the Heroes definitely had the parchmenty map cover with the Axe.

  • Hawkeye says:

    I don’t care for the cover but who cares? I don’t like the cover for Red Dead Redemption either and look how that turned out! I knew Logen wasn’t dead. Here’s a big thumb of the nose to all those who argued he was! Now I truly believe Joe will kill him in a blaze of heroic glory this time but we’ll see…

  • Coyle says:

    Woooooo! LOGEN!

  • cassander says:

    I don’t see canadius written on that blade!

  • Kreso says:

    That’s NINE fingers.


    Oh, and the teaser trailer is fantastic, great job!

    But anyway, NINE FINGERS!!!

  • Chris says:

    Who the hell is this Red Country Joe fella?

  • Vex says:

    Not a big fan of the cover. As others has pointed out “Red County Joe” looks a bit odd.

    I’m definitely getting the Parchment-style, very, very much looking forward to it.

  • SwindonNick says:

    Not often you see a teaser trailer with a real tease in it!!!

  • Roger says:

    As cool as it is having a nine-fingered cover, I’m eager to see the UK cover. UK publishers have always outdone the US ones in this aspect, and having the a new version of the traditional map+weapon+blood scheme.

  • nekro-kun says:

    It looks like, the artist new that there is a guy with nine fingers and a state like Roman Empire. So he drew nine-fingered roman soldier.

  • Steve says:

    Love it. My only gripe–and it’s a small one–is the type treatment. With Joe’s first name being so large, It almost reads “Red Country Joe” at first glance. But I’m a designer, so I could be overthinking it.

  • Tomek says:

    I don’t see a roman legionnaire here, just some generic leather wearing warrior (who, I guess we can safely assume is Logen himself!). Joe mentioned somewhere that his tip to cover artists is keep it pretty open (time frame of their apparel).
    I agree with Steve, “Joe” is way too big! also, one wouldn’t wield a cutlass two-handed like that, but that’s a minor gripe.

  • Sedulo says:

    Very cool, I like it!

  • Becky Watson says:

    The Bloody Nine!!!!!

  • Adam says:

    Like the UK covers better. The art is high quality, but if I were browsing in a brick and mortar book retailer and saw that on a shelf, I’d never pick it up.

    I know the common thinking is that us yanks are dumb and need big flashy pictures to get our attention, but… well that’s the part of the population that doesn’t f’ing read anyway.

  • AntMac says:


    Mate, anyone who believes that stereotype, you wouldn’t want as a friend anyway, right?. We all have mooks too, of course. It is sad when entertainment is crafted to appeal to them, but that is capitalism for you.

    I don’t like this cover as much as I do the ones we get here in NZ, which is the UK issue. It just seems more powerful, to be all about the words, that is what stories in books are to me, all about words, not someone elses idea of the mental picture I will form. Just imho, of course.

    For one thing, that guys shoulders are nowhere near as broad as “my” Logan Ninefingers’ shoulders! 🙂

  • Stumpythreetoes says:

    Not keen on this cover myself.. it looks like the title is..
    The tale of a west country Red Neck
    Have you got a brother called Cletus you keep quiet about Joe

  • Stumpythreetoes says:

    Oh and I love the comment by Lev Grossman, it puts you right up there amongst the Titans ( LOTR & Kurosawa )
    Damn! I can`t wait for this book.

  • Cobus says:

    Great cover, Joe! I doubt people will be stupid enough to read the title as “Red Country Joe”….

  • Lisa says:

    Ohh, the unbridled machismo. It’s like Conan lost his Gilette. US book covers always look cheesy and pulp to me. English ones only slightly less so. I’d stick it in the leather cover i made for my erotica books and spare my fellow Swedes the pain of looking at it. China Mieville seems to get away with better looking covers so it can’t be impossible.

  • Bruce says:

    I prefer the UK covers. Now i’ve seen this one i’ll always imagine the Bloody IX as a groomed, designer stubble, hunk instead of the big, shaggy haired, barbarian covered in scars.

  • Hammer says:

    Well said Bruce! This is exactly why I don’t know why anyone would endorse this U.S. cover either. Why not be true to the characters, but it’s not like most covers are inaccurate in the extreme.

  • […] look at that beauty. Check it out over at Joe Abercrombie’s blog here! And as someone pointed out over on Goodreads, whoever is holding the sword appears to be missing a […]

  • Heyl Split-jaw says:

    Whats to say Logan hasn’t had a hair cut to fit in with his new surroundings (I’m supposing he’s not in the North anymore)?

    I all ways envisioned Logan as just being a normal bloke but slightly larger. And after a couple of days on the campaign trail the stubble would fit. When I’m out hiking I don’t shave everyday.

    One thing i would say is that I allways reckoned his face as a patchwork of scar tissue. But the cover won’t ruin my visulisation of him.

  • Briain C says:

    I’m not a huge fan of this style of cover. Hopefully the UK (and Ireland) cover will be more to my taste.

    I’d love to see Gollancz release some more books with their Gollancz 50 covers. Pity Best Served Cold wasn’t selected.

  • AJ says:

    This cover is not good. He’s holding a one-handed sword with two hands…? Also, as mentioned above, Abercrombie’s name is so damn big it looks like the title is “Red Country Joe.”

    Not to mention that this cover model looks nothing like Logan is described at all in the books. So lame… I’m waiting on the UK Covers because they’re worth a crap

  • Aaron says:

    I don’t know what the fuss about the name size is for. “Red Country Joe” is good name. Nice and folk-y, which is befitting for a western-esque setting

  • Ferdinand says:

    Logan looks small and soft. I feel nothing when i see this cover… Ho-hum. I wont to feel fury, power and death when I see the Bloody IX on the cover!

  • Anna says:

    I can not wait. I’m so beyond excited for this book!

  • Andrew says:

    Joe, the two-handed grip has got to go. No one would ever wield that kind of sword that way. Your book covers need to reflect the fighting realism of your prose.

  • Paul Rimmer says:

    You don’t critique berserkers on how they lose points for not using a “correct” grip! They are Tasmanian devil, meat grinders that don’t give a shit about technique. When Logen Ninefingers becomes “The Bloody-Nine”, he’s just focusing on sending all living people within range back to the mud as quickly and brutally as possible. Style points be damned. Can’t wait Joe! 😀

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Yeah, I agree. Obviously that sword isn’t intended for general use in two hands, but say someone was lying on the ground and you wanted to finish them off in the heat of the moment, I can easily see you putting the other hand on for extra control, especially if you’re not all that much of a technician.

  • Morgan says:

    Fuck man —

    This is it? This guy looks like some cancer-patient, truck driving roman-legionnaire, not the bloody nine. Did you approve this pile of shit?

    Tell the US pubs to have their artist load up ms paint and draw something with more class.

  • Scott says:

    Only one real complaint with the cover, as with many book covers these days. If we can assume this is the Bloody Nine, then what’s with the crew cut? If I remember correctly Logen had long hair. Sure I suppose there’s the ‘roman soldier’ angle, but it really looks more like a haircut you’d walk out of Great Clips with.

  • grignack says:

    I am excited ass hell of the thought of the bloody nine making a come back. But this cover does not do the great leveler justice if this is supposed to be him. This guy looks like someone one Logan would chew up and spit out if you went by the description in the books.

  • Remus says:

    The UK cover is beautifull. “You can never have too many knives” – right? 🙂
    I really don’t think the US cover is very inspired, but… i don’t live in the US. Maybe that’s the type of cover that sells books there.

    Anyway – looking forward for the book, regardless of the cover! I would read it even if they printed it on the back of a milk carton!

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