For a final March Magics post, I couldn’t resist Kristen’s invitation to share some of my favorite (for lack of a better word) bad cover art from the works of Terry Pratchett and Diana Wynne Jones. One sometimes wonders whether the art department is actively trying to lower sales with their wildly horrific concoctions.
For example, here’s the American cover for Jones’s first published children’s book, Witch’s Business. It’s hardly surprising that she took a while to catch on here, and that this book wasn’t reprinted for over thirty years.
And here’s a psychedelic cover for Pratchett’s first Discworld book, The Colour of Magic. Um….just, what???
From there, things tended to get worse. Creepy, sick-looking covers for one of the funniest and most inventive fantasy authors around. What did she do to deserve this?
And for Pratchett, we got either bizarrely overloaded images or boring clip art with eye-crossing color combos.
Here is what I think is the absolute ugliest cover on a book I actually own. You have to be a really dedicated DWJ fan to buy this one. Oh, and this one too:
Yuck! To take the bad taste away, here are some of the GOOD covers that are out there as well. Thank goodness for these!
And thank you, Kristen, for all the wonderful events this month. I enjoyed it so very much and will look forward to next year.
As with most popular and prolific authors, Elizabeth Goudge’s books have suffered from their share of terrible covers over the years. What were the publishers thinking? Here are some of my guesses…
Okay, how are we going to sell this new Goudge novel? Cathedral? Clergymen? Forget them.
Let’s focus on that scrumptious actress! I see her as a sort of late Victorian Marilyn type.
Oh, and remember that scene where she really lets her hair down and seduces businessmen in the woods?
Now, we need to punch up the color scheme a bit.
I think that orange and green are really attractive together, don’t you?
That’ll pull them in! And how about adding bright blue and putting in some volcanoes?
There are volcanoes in New Zealand, right?
That dress is to die for. Let’s come up with some more really great outfits.
I think raingear is always so stylish.
Or how about the gamine look?
Excellent colors on that one too, I love mustard yellow and royal blue.
And how about naked? Naked is good, especially if the book is about Puritans.
Now, we’re a bit lacking in the masculine department. Let’s put in some men, but make sure they have grim, forbidding expressions.
Why? Because men are SERIOUS.
And let’s finish off with a spooky sort of paranormal vibe.
We don’t want those kids to be able to sleep at night, do we?
I do hope you’re not put off reading these books by the covers, because really they have very little to do with the contents! Fortunately, there are also some truly lovely covers to take away the bad taste of the ones above. Here are some of my favorites.
Do you have any covers you love to hate? Or that deserve our admiration? Please share them with us, and don’t forget to link up your own EGRW posts on the Intro page.