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Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja: The story about the cover.

Qunfeng Wang
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Joined: Jan 28, 2005
Posts: 430
Hi John and Bear,

The one on the cover seems not a ninja. It's a well known hero in Chinese tale. His name is Sun Wukong. He is famous for his 72 kinds of skills. He can fly on the cloud. He can run thousands of miles in a second. Please correct me if it's not him. Is there a ninja like this in Japanese history? Would you please share with us why this figure is picked to be the cover?

BTW, the cover looks great.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Wu_Kong

Thanks,
Qunfeng


To be or not to be. It's a question.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60781
    
  65

qunfeng wang wrote:The one on the cover seems not a ninja.

Manning cover characters come from a series of books on regional attire that Manning owns, and unfortunately none contains a Ninja!

It's a well known hero in Chinese tale. His name is Sun Wukong. He is famous for his 72 kinds of skills

Thanks for this info -- it's very interesting.

Would you please share with us why this figure is picked to be the cover?

I guess it was the closest to a ninja that was available.

BTW, the cover looks great.

I agree! I think it's very cool!



Again, thanks for the info!


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
Howard Watson
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Joined: Jan 07, 2004
Posts: 56
Hi Qunfeng. Some additional info on the Manning book covers: http://www.manning.com/about/covers.html

If you go to http://www.manning.com/ and search on "cover illustrations" you'll "see the about the cover" excerpts from many of the books. Unfortunately the Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja MEAP does not have this page.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60781
    
  65

I just received the final "front matter" for the book, and here's what Manning has to say about the source of the artwork:

About the cover illustration

The figure on the cover of Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja is captioned “Noh Actor, Samurai,” from a woodblock print by an unknown Japanese artist of the mid-nineteenth century. Derived from the Japanese word for talent or skill, Noh is a form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Many characters are masked, with men playing male and female roles. The samurai, a hero figure in Japan for hundreds of years, was often featured in the performances, and in this print the artist renders with great skill the beauty of the costume and the ferocity of the samurai.

Samurai and ninjas were both warriors excelling in the Japanese art of war, known for their bravery and cunning. Samurai were elite soldiers, well-educated men who knew how to read and write as well as fight, and they were bound by a strict code of honor called Bushido (The Way of the Warrior), which was passed down orally from generation to generation, starting in the 10th century. Recruited from the aristocracy and upper classes, analagous to European knights, samurai went into battle in large formations, wearing elaborate armor and colorful dress which meant to impress and intimidate. Ninjas were chosen for their martial arts skills rather than their social standing or education. Dressed in black and with their faces covered, they were sent on missions alone or in smaller groups to attack the enemy with subterfuge and stealth, using any tactics to assure success; their only code was one of secrecy.

The cover illustration is from a set of three Japanes prints owned for many years by a Manning editor, and when we were looking for a ninja for the cover of this book, the striking samurai print came to our attention and was selected for its intricate details, vibrant colors, and vivid depiction of a ferocious warrior ready to strike—and win.

At a time when it is hard to tell one computer book from another, Manning celebrates the inventiveness and initiative of the computer business with book covers based on two-hundred year old illustrations that depict the rich diversity of traditional costumes from around the world, brought back to life by prints such as this one.
Qunfeng Wang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2005
Posts: 430
Thanks Bear. I'm glad to know this.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60781
    
  65

All in all, I think that it is the coolest book cover ever.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60781
    
  65

The final proof of the cover:

 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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