Daring Tales and Amazing Adventures
Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, Astounding Science Fiction, Galaxy Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Weekly or monthly titles that fed the imaginations of millions with colorful images and headlines whose titles would rival the best catchlines that a muckraker of the turn of the century would envy. Creating such as a GM might make for great ways to introduce players into the flavor of a campaign, but not everyone is an artist, or has the time to create such works.
An interesting site came to my attention that makes it easy to create such covers. Select from a variety of stock images and pulp-like title art to fill the layout. Add your own text to finalize the work and then share it. The great thing about the way this web application is designed is that as you make changes you can immediately see how the final image will appear and the image can be downloaded right at the bottom of the page without jumping through a bunch of hoops.
There are up to six text regions that are user configurable, both in terms of content and in how each is laid out. The font choices aren’t many, but those that are there all seem to be well chosen for cover art material. Mixing and matching fonts and text regions make it easy to create story titles that mix sizes and colors, like making the main nouns in big, bold text and the conjunctions in a smaller font and less bold color.
There are twenty-three different Pulp/Sci-Fi-esque title images to pick from; Nearly one hundred choices for background images, ranging from simple gradients to decent looking scenes of a pulp or steampunk-like setting. A few of the backgrounds could even be used in a more fantasy-like cover art. For the foreground art there are over fifty images, mostly of people, but also of some 50s pulp vehicles, like airships and skycycles. Only one of each can be selected (background and foreground)
Not every foreground works well with every background, like some characters are placed in a position that covers something interesting or important in the background, but with all the combinations of a background image and a foreground image gives plenty of combinations to choose from and keep things interesting. Once done designing a cover, it can be quickly downloaded by choosing the size of the image at the bottom of the page. Even better, the site offers to print the designed cover on a number of choices (posters, mugs, flyers, etc…).
The only downside is that the site doesn’t allow for user uploaded content to be used to create covers from, but since they are offering to print the art for a price, that makes sense to avoid possible infringement. And, they have a bit of a sense of humor if you look back at the page after downloading an image, you might be greeted with something special.