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Russo, Carol

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Artist.

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(?   -    ). American book designer, sometimes credited as a cover artist. She graduated from New York's School of Visual Arts and first worked as a book designer for William Morrow before moving to a similar position at Ace Books, where she met Tom Doherty and Jim Baen, forging friendships that led to her long-term relationships with the companies they later headed, Tor Books and Baen Books. As one might expect from her background, many of her covers are dominated by the book's title and author's name, with few pictorial elements, though these can be appealing in their own right, like her cover for Orson Scott Card's Maps in a Mirror: The Short Fiction of Orson Scott Card (coll 1990), wherein panels of simply drawn space images in shades of yellow attractively fill the spaces not occupied by text. Other covers combine large text with more prominent images, like the intricate hilts of five silver swords on the cover of Fred Saberhagen's Shieldbreaker's Story (1994).

Russo has also been credited with a few covers featuring genuine artwork: the cover for Theodore Sturgeon's The [Widget], the [Wadget], and Boff (November-December 1955 F&SF; 1989 chap dos) shows a strange creature looking over the shoulder of a little boy reading a book; the cover for Mike Resnick's Will the Last Person to Leave the Planet Please Shut Off the Sun? (coll 1992) depicts a well-rendered spaceship in Earth orbit; and the cover for Jack Vance's Alastor (omni 1995) offers an attractive starscape of pastel spheres surrounding a nebula with a vaguely human shape. If they are indeed entirely her work, such covers suggest that Russo could be regularly employed as a cover artist if she chose; however, she evidently prefers to focus exclusively on book design and has not been identified as a cover artist since the mid-1990s. [GW]

Carol Russo



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