Author: Martin Popoff
Title: “Run For Cover: The Art Of Derek Riggs”
Label: Aardvark Publishing
Release Date: 11/01/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Fans of the Heavy Metal historian Martin Popoff know very well that he always manages to keep you informed as well as entertained with his writing in every book he issues. In most cases we find that the author delivers books that are veritable encyclopedias about the subject matter and these same books become a continual point of reference to those bands if you are a fan who likes to get into super levels of detail on them. This time around his latest endeavor would find him veering from that which we are accustomed and be an art book focused on the creations of the one and only Derek Riggs. Mr. Riggs is well known to the members of the Metal community as not only is he the artist for every single Iron Maiden album cover, but he is the father of “Eddie” (a figure and face we all know and fear). If you grew up as a Metal fan in the eighties then it goes without saying that you purchased Iron Maiden records. You probably even remember the first time that you saw the imposing face of Eddie on the cover of the bands debut. Perhaps it was the second or third album, but either way at first glance, Eddie is unforgettable and over the years we have traveled worlds with him as he transformed with each and every release. Given this is the biggest part of his work – the bands official mascot takes up a majority of the book and who are we to argue with his presence on so many pages.
The book offers Derek’s insight on to what he was thinking when he came up with so many of these memorable covers and you are even treated to what Eddie’s name was originally planned on being. No, I am not telling you that information as I fear his sinister vengeance on such blatant insolence. With Popoff as your guide, this is a great chance to look inside the head of such a creative artist. I am sure that many of us only knew the art itself and very little about the creator and the thought processes that he had going on when he brought to life some great covers. Of course Riggs didn’t only work on Iron Maiden but was also commissioned to do a number of covers for Gamma Ray and Stratovarius and while this was nice work, none of them would offer the Metal fans any characters of impact like Eddie. In addition to all of these Eddie and Maiden representations you will get to enjoy those other works as well. Across the 180 pages, this massive book is defiantly worthy of ones Metal coffee table. It is not only loaded with images you know and recall with fondness but also is the place to see a number of unreleased renditions or uncensored pieces that needed to be changed for whatever reason. Riggs also explains a number of the hidden doodles and their meaning which makes this a truly fun read. This is one beautiful book and a perfect compliment to the music that he has brought to life via his work.