I just started re-reading The Waste Lands, book 3 in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, and I’m loving it (of course), but I’m also a little bummed.

I miss my pictures!

I think that the first time I read this book, about seven or eight years ago, I read the hardcover. With all of the awesome illustrations. Now, I’m just reading some crummy, mass-marketed paperback with a picture of a skull-faced train on the cover.

Not good enough!

I realized this when I read a description of Mir, the giant cyborg bear, and had an image in my head that I knew wasn’t placed there from reading the description. I was picturing this:

Pretty awesome, right?

But, that awesome picture isn’t there for me now. I have to use my rotten imagination. Boo.

Just check out some of the amazing illustrations that I’m missing out on:

At least, I know that all of my next books in the series are all illustrated (I think that I checked out books 1-3 from the library, and bought all of books 4-7 myself). But, man. I didn’t realize how much I loved the art until it was missing!

How do you feel about book art? Do you think art, such as the above images, really adds to the novel, or is it a far second in importance? There’s some really trippy art in Wizard and Glass, so I can waver on my opinion probably next month (although, I love Dave McKean’s work with Gaiman!).