Book Covers: Part II

Here are my thoughts and impressions on the second set of fairy tale covers. I hope you enjoy the images.

This one I love. It comes from IDW, primarily a comic publisher. The simple, sinister approach definitely plays up the “not suitable for small children” aspect of the original tales. The illustrator is Kevin Colden, and I’m assuming he did this cover (although that’s not usually the case with comics). The type, color and border all work together to make something that could be cliché (sinister eyes looking at you) anything but.

.

.

.

Here’s another cover that shows us eyes, but in the hands. This motif is seen throughout art and religion dating way back to ancient Egypt and even before in the Eastern world. It often symbolizes the connection between what we see and what we do. The visual world vs the world of action. There’s an interesting take and collection of images at darkfiber.com. The illustration style, type, color palette and leaf/vine motif all hint at child’s play, but the overall image is foreboding at best.

.

.

This is another great one. Unfortunately the overall impression is lessened by the boxy title that identifies this edition as part of the Puffin Classics collection. Of course, it’s not a museum piece; the idea is to ID and sell the book. (And what is up with the “S apostrophe”? Is that British?) Regardless, the tree is wonderfully “dark forest” and the troll creature in his gargoyle pose is all menace. The background sky adds to the effect while proving it doesn’t have to be night to be spooky.

.

.

This impressive cover image depicts the dwarf being carried off by the hawk in Snow White and Rose Red. (The sisters save him from this and a couple of other unfortunate trials.) The type looks like a horror movie from the 80s (and I mean that in a good way), and it’s nicely contrasted by the dwarfs who laugh as they witness the scene. With its monochromatic palette and white accents, the cover looks like an etching (especially with the sunbeams). Even the partial border lends an air of antique mystery.

.

.

In this last one, C.B. Canga shows us the castle from Sleeping Beauty, enveloped with thick vines and “creepers” that have grown during the kingdom’s hundred years of sleep. Again the artist works with a limited palette to great effect: an oncoming storm in the midst of the deathly sleep. Rather than detracting from the image, the top and bottom banners with their type create a window frame through which we see the ominous castle scene. Framing as such reinforces the idea that this and the other tales within occur in another realm.

Let me know what you think. Part III will be up soon. Thanks for checking it out.

Mm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s