Author Topic: Mistborn: Alloy of Law  (Read 8433 times)

Tortellini

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2011, 09:15:48 PM »
Plus, I swear... goggles are just straight-up marketing shorthand, now. If Wax wasn't wearing the goggles, would it still scream "steampunk" so hard? Can you wear goggles and NOT scream "steampunk"?

This must be somewhat frustrating for you as an artist, I guess? It can be easy to be pigeonholed if people just see the cliché. I am not worried at all that the book is "cashing in on a trope", by the way, it seems more like someone in marketing is trying to cash in on the trope... But hey, if more people buy it, good for Brandon and you guys!

But yeah, the goggles are pretty much it. Although, to be fair, they are welding goggles. So they really should be on a welder. Vest, tie and leather coat plus welder's goggles is not just a steampunk trope, it's the steampunk trope.

Inkthinker

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2011, 09:44:59 PM »

This must be somewhat frustrating for you as an artist, I guess? It can be easy to be pigeonholed if people just see the cliché.

Not so much... if I add goggles to a character design, it's for one of two reasons: They're functionally appropriate for the character's role, or I'm actively attempting to tap that trope as visual shorthand (which is what's being done here). I'd be interested in knowing if these goggles were McGrath's idea or someone else's.

In current visual parlance, goggles added to a character design indicate a technological aspect. They're usually welding goggles because that implies dirty industrial technology (welding=gas and sparks and molten metal), as opposed to a sleeker design that might imply clean futurist technology, or a simpler design which might just imply vision correction. Plus, dark lenses are inherently embedded in popular culture as "cool", and welding goggles are straight black... if they were clear and made you look like you had googly-eyes, it wouldn't work so well.

What I love about this cover is that McGrath captured the characters well, regardless of their clothing or props. I feel like he nailed their features, expressions and body language. And the overall tone of the illustration is  suitable for the book inside... I don't think anyone is going to pick this up and read it and then complain that it wasn't the book they were expecting from the cover art.

They might complain that there wasn't enough goggles.  ;D
« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 09:50:11 PM by Inkthinker »

Tortellini

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2011, 10:07:40 PM »
That's really interesting, the idea of tapping a trope purposely as a visual shorthand - of course it makes sense now that I think of it. Cool to get such an analysis of the inner workings of a cover!

As for the characters, it's great that they are well described. Now it just makes me want to read the book more!

PS: Ze goggles! Zey do nozzink!

Inkthinker

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2011, 01:09:38 AM »
truly, Ranier Wolfcastle was the definitive Radioactive Man.

Visual tropes are as common as any. Once you know to look for 'em, you see 'em everywhere. Other examples are the use of white or black hats in westerns to denote good and bad guys (which was then turned on its ear in the 60's, but that only worked because it was a trope), or the use of cigarettes to denote an attitude of apathy (which is part of being "cool"), or even the type of weapon a character chooses to arm themselves with (revolver=cowboy, big guns=overpowering force, small guns=stealthy, etc).

Being able to recognize and manipulate visual tropes is an effective way for an artist to establish hints of character in a design. Accessories, fashion, body types, body language, all of them carry subtle hints based on shared popular culture.

Of course, when that crosses into cultures that don't share the same tropes, it can fall flat or even miscommunicate. Then the fun really starts.

 ;D

CabbyHat

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2011, 07:40:27 AM »
truly, Ranier Wolfcastle was the definitive Radioactive Man.

Visual tropes are as common as any. Once you know to look for 'em, you see 'em everywhere. Other examples are the use of white or black hats in westerns to denote good and bad guys (which was then turned on its ear in the 60's, but that only worked because it was a trope), or the use of cigarettes to denote an attitude of apathy (which is part of being "cool"), or even the type of weapon a character chooses to arm themselves with (revolver=cowboy, big guns=overpowering force, small guns=stealthy, etc).

Being able to recognize and manipulate visual tropes is an effective way for an artist to establish hints of character in a design. Accessories, fashion, body types, body language, all of them carry subtle hints based on shared popular culture.

Of course, when that crosses into cultures that don't share the same tropes, it can fall flat or even miscommunicate. Then the fun really starts.

 ;D

That's interesting... of course I'm aware of most of those visual tropes, but up until now I hadn't really realized how prevalent they still were. I'm going to have to start keeping an eye out for those. In fact now I'm interested to see how many I'd find when taking a survey of the covers of the books I own...

All that being said, the shorthand of goggles=steampunk has really started to annoy me. I see way too many drawings and covers that have nothing to do with steampunk but still get labeled as such because someone wears goggles in them.

As an aside, the word "goggles" starts to look really funny when you type it too much. Goggles goggles goggles...
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XJface

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2011, 11:05:29 PM »
The combination of iron feruchemy with steel allomancy would make it a lot safer for a misting to use a spikeway (or a railroad ;D ), with their lack of iron and pewter allomancy.

SirZelig

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2011, 02:24:22 PM »
What other townborn combo would be good like steel and iron? Pewter and healing(don't remember the metal for that) maybe?
"All because of you
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douglas

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2011, 02:47:19 PM »
What other townborn combo would be good like steel and iron? Pewter and healing(don't remember the metal for that) maybe?
The best would be the same metal for both because then they could use the Lord Ruler's combo amplification trick.  Pewter or Steel would be best for that, I think, giving you utterly absurd strength or speed plus either, well, more strength (also toughness) or pushing ability.  Gold might also be good for the ability to heal from practically anything almost instantly, but there's only so far that will get you if you don't have anything else and the Allomantic ability is near useless on its own.

It's "twinborn", btw.

SirZelig

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2011, 05:50:55 PM »
I like townborn better :P
"All because of you
I believe in angels.
Not the kind with wings,
no, not the kind with halos;
the kind that bring you home
when home becomes a strange place.
I'll follow your voice;
all you have to do is
shout it out!"
Rise Against- The Good Left Undone

CabbyHat

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2011, 09:34:25 AM »
I'm liking the idea of a steel misting/gold feruchemist combo. You'd be just about impossible to damage. And how about a combination of an atium misting and a steel feruchemist (physical speed)? Or is that just me wanting to see scenes from the Matrix reenacted in the Mistborn world...

On a side note, who else is excited to see what feruchemical effects the new metals have?
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maxonennis

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2011, 03:56:53 PM »
And how about a combination of an atium misting and a steel feruchemist (physical speed)?

*Spoilers*

Atium's gone anyway, it wouldn't matter if you were born an atium misting because it wouldn't do you any good. Neat idea, though.
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Argent

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2011, 12:42:19 AM »
Quote
...

*Spoilers*

Atium's gone anyway, it wouldn't matter if you were born an atium misting because it wouldn't do you any good. Neat idea, though.

*** MORE SPOILERS ***

Atium is not gone. Somewhere in one of the books - I think when Kelsier was destroying the Pits - it was mentioned (or implied) that atium doesn't just go away when you burn it. It kind of finds its way back to the Pits, where it forms new geodes after a few hundred years.
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douglas

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2011, 02:18:48 AM »
*** CONTINUING SPOILERS ***

Ah, but the Pits are gone too, and I don't mean in the sense of "Kelsier cracked all current geodes."  Sazed rearranged the entire world and may have reabsorbed the Pits' power back into himself.  There's a quote from Brandon somewhere in that giant Q&A thread stating that, in the time future books are set in, Atium is a thing of myth and legend and the only way anyone is getting any of it is if Sazed decides to give it to them.  Marsh may have some because he was Sazed's friend before the Ascension and can use it to copy Rashek's immortality trick, so giving Atium to Marsh would be keeping a dear friend and incredibly valuable servant alive, but that's pretty much it.

anthonypeers

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2011, 06:08:27 AM »
As an aside, the word "goggles" starts to look really funny when you type it too much. Goggles goggles goggles...

Psst! You see that lady over there?  What kind of hairstyle does she have?  ;)

CabbyHat

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Re: Mistborn: Alloy of Law
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2011, 09:33:41 AM »
As an aside, the word "goggles" starts to look really funny when you type it too much. Goggles goggles goggles...

Psst! You see that lady over there?  What kind of hairstyle does she have?  ;)

*checks* That looks like a bouffant...
Just an idle comment. My comments are often idle. I can never get them to do any solid work.