Cover Snark: A Crime Against Umlauts

Welcome back to Cover Snark!

Squawk of the Were-Chicken by Richard J. Kendrick. Both the title and author font have a lot of decorative dots, making every other letter look like it has an umlaut. The silhouette of a rooster with red eyes is cast against the moon. A woman with curly hair brandishes a giant wrench in the foreground.

From Julie: This is a suggestion for cover snark because I cannot stop laughing at it. What’s up with that wrench? And that’s one giant cock.

Sarah: You know all of those gifs of people looking baffled and confused? I’m all of those gifs at once.

Elyse: The font made me think we were using lots of umlauts.

Sarah: Aw yeah Cövër Snärk!

Kiki: In the darkness of the night…beware the squäwk öf thë wërë-chïckën!!!!

Bitten by Flame by Kimber White. A hot pink cover. A woman with pink and teal streaks in her blonde hair grasps a man's shoulders. The shirtless man is tattooed, including what may be an angel or the mothman on his shoulder blade. A wolf howls near his butt.

Amanda: What in the Lisa Frank

Sarah: I am suddenly 9. I know exactly which Trapper Keeper I want. I have barrettes with long thin ribbons in my hair. It is the 80s again.

Also I want to talk to a hair stylist about how that dye pattern is achieved because wow that is artistry.

Elyse: Okay okay but what is that tattoo? Top half bird bottom half man? Is it the moth man?

Sarah: Who is the one who is the gay angel on Supernatural?

Maya: Castiel?

Also, I want to buy a van and get that cover airbrushed onto the side

Sarah: Pam G also sent me this glorious cover and says, “I would be surprised if you didn’t see multiples of this cover. Out of the oceans of cray-cray here, I just wanna mention the weeping wolf who–I am sure–will be calling his agent to complain about this modeling assignment.”

“Also, I want to challenge the SBs to say “Faceless f*cker farting fuschia fumes” 10 times fast.”

The Bear Bar Owner's Omega by Lorelei M. Hart. The top half of the cover has two men and a hilly landscape. One man is shirtless. The other is holding a paintbrush up to his face. On the bottom half, a bear guards a sleeping baby and a squirrel is at a painting easel.

Tara: I have many questions and each one starts with “why?”

Sarah: Agreed, yes. And “Wait, what?”

Tara: Followed by more “no, for real though, WHY?!?!”

Sarah: With a smattering of “How?”

Claudia: Wow. I thought Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast was invited to this cover but after much squinting it’s an easel?

Tara: Props for the artistic squirrel though. That little dude brightened my day, even as it confused me.

Claudia: I’m sure it’s harder to paint with your tail!!

Sarah: I know! Art Squirrel is holding a tiny tube of paint and I’d read a series about Art Squirrel

Elyse: All I can think about is him telling the ER doctor how he painted his eyeball.

Sentient Cyborgs by Jessie Rose Case. A black and white cover of a man carrying a woman, but the limbs all see very long. It also appears he's shoving her face to his nipple and her clothes are tangled around her body.

From Maeve

Sarah: I don’t know what’s going on over on the right side there.

Tara: Is he trying to breast/chestfeed her?

Shana: That’s going to be hard since it looks like he’s wrapped a bra around her face.

Elyse: Are those her pants around her knees?


Comments are Closed

  1. Jazzlet says:


    I guess conservation of mass would make for a pretty big were cock . . .

    Sarah I am certain a hair stylist would say “don’t turn your hair plastic! ” And “I have a colleague who could help you with your [plastic] face” because even a stylist’s tact would be overcome by the plastic vibes of that skin. Rainbow does have her finger strategically placed on bird bird man though, which is kind of her.

    Get that baby out of the snow.

    I don’t think that last model is even alive, I’m expecting her arm to flop forward any second revealing Mr Cyborg has turned her off.

  2. Lyns says:

    I read “what’s up with that wrench” as “what’s up with that WENCH”. And honestly, the wench with the wrench is so much scarier than the gigantic cock – is she going to sabotage the tiny mill???

    But the author totally chickened out (ha!) when they went with were-chicken rather than were-cock. Like, my good Sir/Madam/Gentleperson, that is not a chicken on that cover.

  3. Sandra says:

    Are there rules for cover umlauts? Do they follow the rules for Heavy Metal umlauts? Every vowel has one except for the one on the U in squawk. Maybe you can’t have two in a row? Are three dots better than two? And why is there a water mill in the scene?

    Also, what is up with the female model’s arms in the last one? It looks like she’s sort of wearing a sweater, but it’s one long tube covering both arms, and her left arm seems to end just below the elbow.

  4. MelMc says:

    Pretty sure Sentient Cyborgs cover is a murder scene. Just look at his dead shark eyes and you know he’s moob-smothering her. He’s just so tired of women who steal his giant cozy sweater and think it’s cute.

  5. FashionablyEvil says:

    The umlaut things actually remind me of the Lord of the Rings style of writing—I have a “No admittance except on party business” print and the a’s in admittance have the three dots over them. Seems like the author or designer thought, “If one is good, 47 is great!”

  6. squee_me says:

    Her limbs and body position make no sense in that last cover. I’m getting “wanna help me hide a body” vibe from him. So much wrong.

  7. Dee says:

    I’m actually speechless on the were-chicken. I don’t know where to begin. Also the chicken is totes now giving me Scooby Doo villain vibes.

    What in the Lisa Frank? is right. Wouldn’t be surprised if the wolf went on a Care Bear murder rampage in protest of being trapped on said cover.

    The third cover is too much…has the makings of a small town love story but then you have the art squirrel (almost missed them somehow), a bear guarding a baby, a shirtless confused man and Pacey from Dawson’s Creek doppelganger holding a paint brush. (Are we experiencing squirrel/bear love?) Now I am confused.

    The fourth cover is an episode of Criminal Minds waiting to happen. Nope. Just no. Hard pass from me.

  8. Silver James says:

    Ya know…I’m kinda glad I’ve had eye surgery in both eyes and can’t really see these covers. Just blurs make me cringe. I have no words…

  9. SusanE says:

    I almost missed the wolf on the pink explosion cover. I’m still trying to figure out what the title is.
    Bitten by … Flaure? O’Hame? Otlanie?

    Bear Bar cover designer: Which of these assorted overused images do you want?
    Publisher: I like all of them.
    Designer: You got it.

  10. Dee says:

    @SusanE I think it’s Bitten by Flame with a random logo circle there for extra confusion.

  11. Empress of Blandings says:

    I am weirdly intrigued by the were-chicken cover, which probably says something about me I don’t want to know.

    Also the art squirrel is pretty darn cute.

  12. Jane says:

    The shifter squirrel artist brings back both (1) the bad memory of the time my parents made me paint the garage ceiling and a big blob of white paint fell in my eye, and (2) the bad memory of the time my college art teacher informed me that the brush I’d been told to buy for class was literally made of squirrel tail, not just named after it.

  13. Maite says:

    Bitten by Flame reminds me of that cover (“The Mating”?) that showed the back of a naked man, farting blue gas.

  14. DarienDG says:

    The only place I have seen the ‘triple dot’ over a letter is in Tolkien’s elvish script – so….are they saying this is a Middle Earth thing, or just going for a letter modifier that looks suitably exotic? Inquiring minds want to know, is it Tengwar?

  15. Todd says:

    That rainbow hair … it’s an actual thing. They call it Unicorn Hair (and, seemingly, it looks good for three days, tops, before the colors fade and mix).

  16. Wait, what? says:

    Re the bear bar m/m book, I have many questions! Will the baby be part bear, part squirrel? And if so, which part is bear and which is squirrel? Will baby be a bear-sized squirrel or a squirrel-sized bear? The mind reels! Though a squirrel-sized bear would be adorable!
    Reminds me of a dog I used to see by my elementary school when I was a kid. Looked exactly like a black lab with a lab-size body and basset hound size and shape legs . . .

  17. Zuzus says:

    Art squirrel is giving me severe Bob Ross flashbacks. He would have loved to come back as a squirrel.

  18. Cosmogyral says:

    Looking from the paintbrush in the man’s hand to the paintbrush in the squirrel’s hand with increasing hysteria… Are the bear and baby posing for a portrait? Is that what’s happening? Wouldn’t it have been easier to paint them in your human form, omega guy?

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Off topic but does anyone know of a Lisa Frank cookbook/entertaining book? I’ve seen loads of kitschy cookbooks and I need to entertain in ‘Lisa Frank’ style!

  20. Star says:

    Cover Snark is always excellent, but this is the first edition that has just straight up broken my brain. Literally I can’t even formulate any coherent questions despite having so very many.

  21. denise says:

    This is the craziest collection of Cover Snark ever!

  22. FashionablyEvil says:

    @Wait, what—I had a similar question about the squirrel/bear pairing because of a similar dog I saw once! It was clearly half German shepherd and half dachshund—had the German shepherd head and tail and the dachshund body and legs. It was…somewhat unfortunate looking.

  23. liminal fruitbat says:

    The three dots over the Were-Chicken’s random vowels are indeed stolen from Tolkien’s Tengwar writing system: they mean that the consonant they’re written over (or the placeholder letter if they’re at the start of the word) is followed by the “a” sound. Which means this book is in fact “Squaawk of thea Wearea-Chiackean”, by “Riachaard Ja Keandriack”.

    Somehow this is not an improvement.

  24. […] Let’s giggle with Smart Bitches, Trashy Romances on some cover snark. […]

  25. TMary says:

    Squawk of the Were-Chicken might actually be a pretty good horror novel design if it wasn’t, you know, Squawk of the Were-Chicken. …Actually, it occurs to me that a were-rooster might be the scariest animal ever never mind, as you were.

    That second cover says “Flame of Tlarne” and you can’t convince me otherwise.

    …How is the third book somehow much, much more insane than Flame of Tlarne? It looks, at first glance, fairly normal, and yet, the longer I stare at it, the more it becomes a veritable Wonderland of weirdness.

    As for the fourth, she at least must be a sentient cyborg, because that leg looks too long and too skinny to belong to a human being.

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