Here’s some more book covers that I spotted in March 2020, because you should always judge a book by its cover!
Book covers: Cracked out
I’ve covered Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four before on my book covers blog, and there are many good ones, but this is not one of them. In fact, you might want to zoom in the picture as much as you can to see just how bad this book cover is. Winston Smith looks like he’s on… something. Big Brother looks like a bad guy from Street Fighter 2, rendered here as he is with some fine airbrush work (I think). This cover could double up as the sleeve for a prog rock record that would have songs titles like “The Rats” and “March of the Proles (part 3)”.
Even though this book cover is really bad, I wish they still made book covers like this.
Book covers: Objectivist
Two book covers for the novels of the founder of objectivism, Alisa Zinovyevna herself, AKA Ayn Rand. Although she claimed her philosophy was objective, most people just find her objectionable. Which is fair enough, I suppose. Not that she gave a sh*t.
Despite the covers for these American paperback editions by Signet being at least a quarter century apart in publication, they almost match. The design aesthetic is quite consistent, apart from the lines, and I quite like both of the covers (I don’t know exactly when this copy of Atlas was printed as it doesn’t say inside it. Print dates on your damn books, Signet). I’ve got another Fountainhead somewhere which just has a 1970s-style babe posing on the front, which would never be allowed these days.
Book Covers: Harmless
Given how creative some of the covers for Hitchikers Guide are, this first edition of the fifth book in the trilogy is Mostly Disappointing and low effort. It looks like the designer cranked it out on a Friday and went down the pub – Douglas Adams would no doubt have approved. As least the text has some genuine shiny effect to it.
The third UK paperback version of the original four books is probably my favourite, as it has a four-part cover that you can fit together to make a complete picture. For some reason Mostly Harmless isn’t included, but I guess it hadn’t come out at that point.
Mostly a genre writer of comedy science fiction and detective stories, Douglas Adams also predicted Google Translate and Bluetooth connections for computers in his work, amongst other things.
Book Covers: Jedi
Star Wars used to have decent novelisations, but did you know that you could also get the comic book version in cheap paperback form? This Piccolo paperback originally cost £1.25 back in 1983, which is pretty great considering that an ordinary book of the time cost around 1.50, and it’s in full colour and contains the full Marvel comic adaptation of the movie with work from the Marvel artists of the era, which was a fairly good time as things go in Marvel comics.
These days they would charge you twice as much for it, and it still wouldn’t explain all the plot-holes in the crappy movies.
It does look a bit kid friendly, but grown-up men getting worked up about Star Wars wasn’t as much of a thing in those days as nerd fandom hadn’t really become a thing in popular culture as yet except for strange people writing slash fics about Kirk and Spock getting it on. Final frontier, indeed.
Next time: more trekking through vintage book covers.