September 29th, 2010 / 5:33 pm

Really gotta hand it to these publishers


  1. herocious

      I just got it.

  2. jereme

      disembodied lust

  3. Trey

      you could do this with anything.

  4. Mykle

      Every time i visit The Large Bookstore, i’m impressed by how much the cover designs of the major publishers are driven by cliche and fad. They imitate one another intensely.

  5. deadgod

      You’ve got your fingers on the pulse, Jimmy – the sound of one hand exuding pus after clapping. Get a grip!

  6. Sean

      Another classic. Trey, he could do it with anything uninteresting and right in front of our face. Maybe one point?

      I mean what IS a good cover?

      One we have not seen.

  7. Owen Kaelin

      Dark Spring, by Unica Zürn, from Exact Change.
      The Temple of Iconoclasts, by J Rodolfo Wilcock, from Mercury House
      Dictionary of the Khazars, by Milorad Pavic, from Vintage (not the one from Derata)
      Notable American Women, by Ben Marcus, from Vintage
      Fog & Car, by Eugene Lim, from Ellipsis Press
      Northwest Edge II: fictions of mass destruction, from Chiasmus Press
      anything from Calamari Press (art by Derek White himself)
      …well, you get the idea.

      …but you’re right, Sean: there’s very little good cover art out there, and I hate hate hate that most publishers are driven to redo the cover art every time they put out a new run.

      …We don’t see that in the music industry.

      I like good covers, and I’m one of those people who thinks it’s important to design the spine of a book to pull in the browsing customer.

      …And after all: people do judge books by their cover, and you can tell that the ‘Industry’ knows this.

  8. Owen Kaelin


  9. Ditrapano

      Where is Firework, Jimmy? dammit

  10. Trey

      that’s true Sean, that’s kind of what I was thinking (when I wrote it I was sort of thinking “you could do this with anything [general, like hands or birds or mammals or heavenly bodies or w/e]”). I think a cover with a hand on it can be ok. but I guess the point is that I’m not going to be super wowed by a cover with a hand on it (below, Ditrapano mentions Firework, the cover of which did not disappoint, but didn’t impress either). so yeah. those who rush in, or something.

  11. Josh Spilker

      i like the ‘crooked little vein’ cover. it seems relevant to the title, unlike most of the hands/arms on the others.

  12. februaryy
  13. Ditrapano

      Eat a dick, Trey

  14. Trey


  15. Sean


      Good point on the Spine. Never even considered that, which is lame on my part.

      But such a fine line on covers. It’s like band names or titles for collections of poems. I mean you can go melodramatic or too subtle. And all areas in-between.

      I bet a seriously strong, captivating cover is like a seriously strong home brewed beer: a fuck-load more difficult to create than you may think.

  16. Owen Kaelin

      For designers, yeah, but of course: if all else fails you can always just grab a painting you really like and use that.

      That’s why Temple of Iconoclasts wins for me, for example, among a bunch of others. The painting on the cover of Stacey Levine’s “Dra-” I’ve always liked. Of course, I also like the book a lot . . . it’s nice when the two coincide.

      Exact Change and @tlas Press have some good covers, too. Well, actually I guess I already mentioned one from Exact Change… .

      A while ago there were a line of books by Wyndham Lewis which drew me in, for some reason, I always wanted to pick them up and handle them… although I wasn’t really very much interested in the contents.
      Based on an Amazon search, it looks like they’ve changed the covers since then. Different publisher, maybe.

  17. Jonny Ross
  18. Owen Kaelin

      Ugh… yeah, horrible cover. The cover on my copy (an earlier run from New Directions) is not great, but much better than this. It’s the one with the three monoliths + moon.