Orbit Loot

Orbit Books

Join the Orbit Newsletter

The Chart of Fantasy Art Part 3: Dragons

Every year we ask our summer intern to do a survey of cover art elements for the top US fantasy novels published in the previous year.  You can find more of our findings on the Chart of Fantasy Art, and the Changing Fashion of Urban Fantasy Heroines. Today: Dragons.

Green dragons featured prominently on fantasy covers this year — 35% of the dragons spotted wore dazzling shades of moss and emerald.  Close behind were orange/rust colored dragons. Although we have no actual proof of this, our best scientific hypothesis is that dragons, being just a fantastical mashup of a lizard and a dinosaur, tend to most frequently follow actual reptilian coloring… BORING. We were happy to see some white, red, and black dragon activity, but one question: Where are all the purple dragons?

While the moods of the dragons were difficult to ascertain, we did notice that 15% of dragons were either giving humans a ride to their next exotic locale or associating with them in some other friendly manner.  Good news we think.

Stay tuned this afternoon for the last chart in our series: Titles!


  1. Glossaria

    August 19, 2010
    at 10:49 am

    The purple ones are deep in hiding. Dragon memories are long; they still recall the bitter toll taken upon the purple dragon community 18 years ago, when one of their number was mistaken for a purple dinosaur. (His tendency to croon softly to himself in a high, sing-song voice when threatened did nothing to dissuade his attackers.)

    • Greis

      August 25, 2010
      at 12:23 pm

      Purple dragons are hidden not to be confused with Barny the dinosaur!
      Greis from Argentina

  2. blodeuedd

    August 19, 2010
    at 11:08 am

    Lol, green ones, I see, must be the green theme of the world

  3. Veronica

    August 19, 2010
    at 1:51 pm

    Perhaps it was the promiscuity of the purple dragon-saur that got him in trouble. He got a piece of everyone and everyone got a piece of him, or so the ballad goes….

  4. Rashda/SpiceBites

    August 19, 2010
    at 3:04 pm

    Personally, I like jewel-toned blue dragons! And ok, yes, sexy black dragons…;P

  5. Melissa

    August 19, 2010
    at 3:34 pm

    The purple dragons were all culled to make wrappers for a certain chocolate bar…the coco beans may be fairtrade but the packaging isn’t!

  6. Joshua See

    August 24, 2010
    at 1:36 pm

    OOC, what is the different between the 35% and 10% dragons? They both seem to be shades of green to me, with the latter have slightly more red and blue thrown in.

    • Draco18s

      November 7, 2010
      at 10:56 am

      I think the 10% one is supposed to be blue, but the color used is a teal.

  7. HT

    August 27, 2010
    at 5:00 pm

    Two of my favorite colored dragons are two of the least aparrent: grey and red…And then of course the awesome black dragons. That is an interesting question, which I find highly amusing, considering that purple dragons would probably be a great hit among every person! ^-^

  8. Draco18s

    November 7, 2010
    at 11:01 am

    There are a scant few purple dragons out there, but feature not on book covers.
    And silvers! Silvers made the list! :D

  9. xUnholyScrollsx

    March 21, 2011
    at 9:23 am

    Dragons may still be real….we just havent found them yet

    • ZenaraTheWiseOne

      February 23, 2013
      at 10:04 pm

      Of course dragons are real. But do you really think they’d be dumb enough to show themselves to the same creatures who hunted them mercilessly?

RSS Feeds
Orbit on the Web

Please note that though we make every effort to ensure the suitability of links, Orbit cannot be held responsible for the content of external sites.