Friday, February 20, 2009

Let's talk covers

I think we’d all have to admit at some point or another we have chosen a book by its cover. In fact, from reading different book blogs in cyberspace, I have seen this written quite frequently. It’s funny how the world of cover art evolves. Let’s take for instance I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. I just happened to notice that we have a few different book styles in our catalog (Check it out). The first picture we see is definitely dated. All those words in the different colors reminds me of covers made in the 60’s and 70’s. But I have to say (completely jokingly) that the quote is quite compelling: "This may be the most terrifying science-fiction novel you will ever read!!!!!!" And believe me, my friend, I am quoting all six of those exclamation points. Moving on to the next image, we see a not so subtle change in the covers. This one seems like it was made recently. Note how it uses a graphic image instead of words to illustrate the book’s fear factor. I think this classic use of showing versus telling is much more effective. Moving on to the CD book’s cover, we get an image that reminds me a little more of the movie. We see a lone figure in the forefront overlooking an empty city street. This seems more like a teaser cover, no? We don’t get so blatantly that the book is about vampires, like we do in the second cover, but I guess there is still a slight ominous look to it. The final cover on the page is not actually the short story itself but a book talking about it. And although I enjoy the creepy flying skeletal man and big red letters of the title, I don’t really remember a flying vampire in the actual story. So that’s a stumper. For the final cover, let’s look at the version that was released after the summer blockbuster hit starring Will Smith came out (in case you didn’t guess, it’s pictured above). I like the use of the oranges and yellows. I like that they captured Will Smith at his most determined and yet slightly fearful. I’m not a huge fan of books reissued after the movie comes out because it totally dates the cover art, but such is life. I think I like looking at different covers. Let’s do this again sometime. Let me know which covers you like the best and we can discuss.

Oh, and because it surprised me when I was reading it, just to let you know, the cover should really say "I Am Legend and other stories" because I Am Legend actually only fills about half the book (I was waiting for something else to happen when I turn the page and bam! It’s another story—kind of disappointing).

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