The Guns of Avalon by Roger Zelazny

The Guns of Avalon by Roger Zelazny

The cover art for The Guns of Avalon by Roger Zelazny is intense. It features medieval warriors locked in a battle to the death against some apelike ogre creatures. The Arthurian-looking warrior is holding a sword and breaking the enemy’s morning star, while the other warrior, who looks like he might be wounded, is grimacing and holding a crossbow. If you look closely at the red background, you’ll see a Nosferatu-like figure with an evil grin, holding a sword by the blade.

Now, if you think there’s a lot going on in the front of this book, well, you haven’t seen anything until you check out the back cover.

The Guns of Avalon by Roger Zelazny

There are winged creatures with female bodies and skulls for faces, flying out of an eerily lit giant skull. There’s a line of masked warriors riding from the skull’s mouth. There’s some sort of sabretooth tiger beast with a demon on its back, as well as a Loch Ness Monster thing, perhaps a dragon. One of the figures walking looks like it might be a zombie. And then there’s a big cannon in the bottom corner.

Man, this cover really does have everything.

Inside the book, the artist is uncredited. However, he managed to get his name onto the back cover. If you look closely in the bottom right-hand corner, just above the cannon, you’ll see “KEN BARR” spelled out very clearly.

Kenneth Barr (17 March 1933 – 25 March 2016) was a Scottish artist who, alongside creating many science fiction and fantasy book covers, did comic book work for both Marvel and DC.