The Heroes Limited

February 23rd, 2013

I love that moment when I can once again step back and let Raymond Swanland kick your ass.

Click for far more detail.  Cover art for the limited edition of The Heroes by the wonderful Subterranean Press, and it’s a total wraparound, front and back, double a-side.  Lettered editions have already sold out, I am afraid, but the numbered is still available, at a price.  But know that not three, not four, but five black and white illustrations by the incomparable Mr. Swanland will be included within, alongside all the maps that graced the original edition.  It is the incontestably complete, wonderfully unique, and strictly limited version of The Heroes.  You may order here, should you so desire.  But do so soon, to avoid crushing existential disappointment.  All of The First Law, lettered, numbered, everything, are now sold out, and but a few Best Served Cold numbered editions remain…

Posted in announcements, artwork, news by Joe Abercrombie on February 23rd, 2013.

37 comments so far

  • Tom says:

    That is Fucking Awesome! I wish we could see Whirrun

  • Denis says:

    Now THAT is cool! 🙂

  • John Dunlop says:

    The heroes was excellent . well written, nicely delivered. Wirrun ? well delivered but.. just another named man, died due to bad luck … like 50% of them. you don’t get named cause your lucky, handsome or rich… but cause you fight like fuck, and don’t give up. And other fighters SAW this too

  • Dogman'sBladder says:

    The guy on the right with the black beard is totally how I pictured Black Dow. I resent Joe’s vision of him with a Tom Selleck mustache. If you ever put that in print I’ll never be able to forgive you.

  • Space Preacher says:

    I thought Dow kept his hair short? Was it longer in The Heroes?

  • Tim says:

    That is pretty damn awesome

  • Mitchell Lurie says:

    Such a perfect cover for such an amazing book. So happy with my limited BSC, can’t wait to get this bad boy to accompany it on my bookshelf..

  • eh. says:

    Looks great. About Dow , I always picture him as extremely short haired, almost shaven headed. its an image that formed from the very first time I read of him and it stuck.

  • AbercrombieFan says:

    You got lucky with this one. Absolutely awe-inspiring! Send that artist a cigar and brandy

  • ColinJ says:

    Love it. That’s all I have to say.

  • AntMac says:

    Wow, that is good.

    Gunna need a whole lot of sticking plasters.

  • Roger says:


    I don’t think that the scene represents any particular scene of the book or any specific characters. It’s just a visualization of both armies clashing. That said, there’s this blond guy in the Northern side who misses the left eye. Mmmm.

  • Vegard Stokke says:

    Immediate desktop background. Thanks! the book I’ve got is plenty good, so won’t bother buying another, but thanks for the offer. Me out!

  • TheFourthHorseman says:

    Any chance of a higher resolution version of this? It does make for great desktop material. Really great cover to your best book thus far.

  • Bryn says:

    Hello new desktop wallpaper. Awesome.

  • Madam-im-adaM says:

    The Union broke rank…for shame.

  • Dav says:

    Very Hollywood, but very cool nonetheless.

  • Iangr says:

    Brilliant!This illustrator clearly has talent!
    Chain him Joe and never let go!

  • confused says:

    Not sure why everyone is fapping over this. Looks fairly generic to me.

  • Frank Fitzpatrick says:

    What a piece of art that is. Strangely, what I like most about it is that the sky is split between night and day and seems even more symbolic than the two charging armies.

    Absolutely loved The Heroes. One helluva book.

  • The Dude says:

    It’s really well done, you can easilly see where the spine goes, and how it parts two very different themes for the front/back. Literally night and day. Got both on preorder, looks good, so far.

  • Den says:

    Very, very, very cool indeed.

  • Galbrod says:

    Nice! Any hints concerning the other illustrations by Mr Swanland? Any chance of Black Calder?

  • JenMo says:

    Shivers looks like a demon. I like.

  • Dan says:

    That must be an awesome feeling to have something you imagined and put in words, be transformed into such an awesome painting.

  • Ryan says:

    Having purchased BSC, I can confirm Raymond Swanland does kick ass black and white illustrations. You won’t be disappointed with his offerings. I for one cannot wait. Pre-ordered on day one. Take my money, Joe!

    Also, if it’s like BSC, the lettered and limited have the same artworks, so you won’t be missing much by getting a limited over lettered.

  • AntMac says:

    +1 to Dans comment.

    I can’t draw a glass of water, let alone a recognisable human face, and it staggers me to see people doing it.

  • James Webster says:

    Artistic license and all that, but horned helmets? I was just looking at that and thinking how easy it would be to whack one of the horns and dislocate his neck..

    We are told these days that the Vikings never used them despite modern depictions, so I wonder where that trope came from in the first place? Pulp fantasy cover art maybe? Or is it a lot older?

    Commences beard stroking..

  • roger sterling says:

    pre-ordered. looks great.

  • to James Webster says:

    i dont think the vikings used them but im predt shure that the teutonic order used them (14-15 century). they were Germans in Poland fighting its enemies.Im 95% sure that they had lots of weird helmets but i dont know if the the teutonic order were the 1-st.The first law world is based on a midieval level so you coud say that it isnt that hard to put a guy with a horned helmet there. (i coud be wrong)

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    James Webster,
    A point is made in the text about Golden’s absurd affectation of a gilded horned helmet. Gorst nearly twists his head off during their encounter as a result.

  • Sword1001 says:

    Black Dow with long hair . . . I thought he kept it short so no one could grab hold of it during a fight? Am I confusing him with someone else?

  • James Webster says:

    Thanks Joe!

    Looks like:

    a) I need to reread despite it only being a year
    b) Gorst had the right idea

    BTW, started watching Banshee yet? Highly recommended..

  • Illu says:

    Have you ever considered about selling poster based on your books? I think that there might be a market for them among your fans. I at least already own all your works in English and some translated to Finnish, I really don’t see the point of buying a new copy of something that I already have. But all those special editions of your books have really awesome cover art, I would like to see them hagging on my wall instead of hidden in a bookshelf. Would it be possible to do or is this something never heard of?

  • The Dan says:

    While I still prefer the old UK covers, with the map and the axe, Swanland is truly one of the greatest artists of this generation. I’ve seen his work many times now and it always baffles me.

  • Chris says:

    Just pre-ordered my copy of Heroes from Subterranean Press! Did not snag a Lettered copy 🙁 but did snag a Limited edition.


    Hey folks, here is an observation / question. I went to and found a lot (and I mean a lot) of Joe Abercrombie Subterranean edition for sale (and for quite a bit of money!).

    To me it is mixed messages:

    On the good side: It’s good the Joe is so much in demand and that his SubT editions can demand so much money.

    On the bad side: What kind of fan would actually sell their precisous precious signed books?!?! I hate the idea that “ïnvestors” are grabbing all the Lettered edition leaving the true fans (like me!) missing out.


  • Tomek says:

    i agree. i was really gunning for a lettered edition of that one and no can do!

    do they seel them on ebay for profit later?

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