In the late night comedy talk show host Seth Meyers' recent video Trump's Secret Positive COVID Test; GOP's Omicron Conspiracy Theories: A Closer Look (cued at 09:17) there's a graphic of a faux old, used sci-fi paperback with yellowed pages with "period" artwork commensurate with the degree of yellowing. The faux title written in period font is "The Omicron Variant".

My question is about the cover art.

Meyers regularly laments about the small size of the show's budget allotted to various sound clips, graphics and other gimmicks, so I wonder if this artwork is original, inspired from known cover art, or straight-up borrowed or licensed from somewhere.

Question: Is the cover art on this faux paperback graphic "The Omicron Variant" on Seth Meyers' "A Closer Look" borrowed from a real SciFi novel's cover?

Or at least an homage to one, or "heavily inspired by"?

screenshot from Seth Meyers' "Trump's Secret Positive COVID Test; GOP's Omicron Conspiracy Theories: A Closer Look"


2 Answers 2


It appears to be an artwork by graphic artist Tithi Luadthong. It was used as the cover for this obscure Italian science fiction e-book novel: I tre stati dell'acqua [The Three States of Water] by Claudio Chillemi. However, it is not clear whether it was commissioned for the book, or whether (more likely) it was an existing work that was used on the cover.

Although prints of that particular artwork do not appear to be available on the artist's Web site, the work is very characteristic of their style. Lots of the other images on display show a single small human figure (occasionally garbed as an astronaut) on the periphery of a more visually impressive landscape phenomenon.

  • 1
    wow, nicely found!
    – uhoh
    Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 0:31
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    Using Google translate on the plot summary of that book, I get the most wonderful sentence: "Immortality has become a capital crime". Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 14:07
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    Nice, a bunch of this artist's work ended up as coloring pages in the app Happy Color and I always wondered where it came from. Recognized the piece in the question instantly from there. Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 21:54
  • @DJClayworth almost enough to make me learn Italian...
    – corsiKa
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 0:03

Seems like a stock image as seen here; the title is “spaceman standing on the futuristic stairs and looking at the light at the end, digital art style, illustration painting”

enter image description here

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    To put it a different way, it is an artwork by Tithi Luadthong which is available for purchase for commercial use. There's something slightly dehumanising about the phrase "stock image", as though they are bred on a farm somewhere, rather than it being a source of income for artists.
    – IMSoP
    Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 15:23
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    @IMSoP I guess you don't mind slamming farmers/ranchers for earning an income if the comparison offends you? Commented Dec 10, 2021 at 5:50
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    This is one of those lovely times that I agreed with the first comment until I read the second.
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 10, 2021 at 9:17
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    @lucasbachmann That's not really where I was going with that, no. Of course there are thousands of people doing vitally important jobs that don't get thanked by name, but other than having a Hollywood-style credit scroll attached to everything, that's not really solvable. I don't think that's a valid excuse to deliberately ignore the name of a creative artist, though. People seem to go out of their way on the internet not to credit artists, and I absolutely hate that.
    – IMSoP
    Commented Dec 10, 2021 at 10:20
  • @IMSoP I don't see how the poster isn't crediting the artist here or "deliberately ignoring the name of a creative artist", there's a direct link to the page, and a screenshot including the name of the artist. Had those been obfuscated I'd agree. There's no dehumanizing in calling something a stock image, that's just what its called when you license out creative works.
    – Remy
    Commented Dec 10, 2021 at 13:24

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