Cover design has changed a lot over the years – and I don't just mean the monochromatic single-item shallow-focus trend going on right now. Used to be covers were… on a book, on a shelf. Now, covers are on books, on physical bookshelves, on digital books in all sorts of sizes, large and small. Resizing the cover image can yield some hilarious results, too.
Here's an example from Chelsea Z:
She came across this cover while book browsing: “one of those covers that makes you go Whuuaaa?? Girlfriend has some seriously stretchy lips…or….reeeally long fingers maybe? Maybe it is clearer on a print book???”
Yup, and it's clearer in the larger-sized image, too:
The larger image makes the depth and contrast more clear – but the smaller cover image makes it look she has a prehensile lower lip. I wonder if that would be useful, should we reach that point of evolutionary development.
I saw this in the RT magazine on the flight home from Kansas City and did indeed do a double take when I saw the picture as I was turning the page:
I think part of my Huh?! comes from the fact that it looks like a somewhat creepy American Apparel ad. And the other part comes from not being able to readily identify whose body parts are whose, what I'm looking at, why his shoulder looks so much like a giant unintentional (or intentional) dong … and why the focus of the shot is her bum:
Not only did this cover make me double take, but it gave me a mild case of the squicks, too.
Here's another double-take cover:
Tammy sent this to me, writing, “I came across this book after one too many mouse clicks and then just had to take a closer look because my first thought was WTF. My second was that you might enjoy it.”
Holy crap. Either she's sitting on a cat, or she's shitting a cat. It's a whole new descriptor of crazy, you guys: cat shitting crazy!
Alas, in the larger image, it's clear that she's not sitting or shitting a cat:
You can just barely make out the white sofa she's sitting on … and the Photoshop aura surrounding the cat who was added in using the inestimable powers of cut-and-paste.
Here's a cover with both an image and a title that might cause you to do a double-take:
She's positive…. that their arms are very confusing. Is her head on backwards? Is that her back or her front? What the hell?
Well, the hands and her neck look more… logical, but that title is still making me 0_o.
Elyse, who sent me this picture, suggested it's “a novel of love and broad spectrum antibiotics.”
This last one is my favorite. Meet London's Last True Soundrel!
Jennie R sent me a link to the original cover, saying “this cover inspires a much closer look. Can't tell if it's really bad or really awesome.”
That's one way of looking at it. Clearly the man is a bonafide scoundrel because you can't tell at a glance if he's wearing pants!
It's more obvious in the bigger version (heh) but still, a quick glance and you might think he has no pants… and no asscrack.
And you can't win for trying. St. Martin's seems to have updated the cover. Now the pants are darker, but he looks…furry:
Which did you like better, the buckskin or the chocolate brown longjohns? Did any of these covers make you do a double take?