Cool stuff. A bit like a Japanese Milt Gross.
Chris Ware and Seth need to stop designing book covers. They’re beautiful, yes, but they don’t capture/represent the content inside the covers. It just looks like you’re going to read a Chris Ware/Seth comic. And that’s bad book design.
Totally agree about this cover, and the Ware designs for Krazy and Ignatz, but there are some exceptions–I think Ware’s Walt and Skeezix designs are amazingly sympathetic to the material. I wrote about this just yesterday, actually– http://hoodedutilitarian.com/2011/07/gasoline-all…
The preview looks really interesting. Can’t wait for this book, and would probably check it out if it were covered with roughly stapled cardboard.
I actually like Ware’s Krazy Kat covers. He’s playing around with the actual characters, the actual drawings. The placements and aprpriations he’s using are very respectful. Seth’s redrawings (and the book’s obvious omissions) are slap to John Stanley and Doug Wright, and the limited design range he has only makes it look like a Seth book. They’ve become his when the really shouldn’t have been.
I’m always in favor of using the original artist’s work for cover design, but Ware is such a virtuoso designer that I’m still OK with just about anything I’ve seen him do. This is not his best work, but is still impressive. Seth, on the other hand, is, by his own admission, not a designer, and should not be allowed to “design” a cover ever again.
Best classic reprint cover design of the past few years: Jacob Covey’s Popeye covers.
I understand liking this cover on its own — http://www.copaceticcomics.com/comics/1093
But the broader question in cover design, at least to my mind, is does it prepare someone for what they’ll be experiencing on the inside? This is even more important in the case of comics or some other kind of book heavy on visual material–is something about the interior communicated through the outside? Style, tone, even time period…
I suppose it’s really irrelevant in this case since most of the people buying the Krazy and Ignatz books are already familiar with the content, and see the cover as a kind of bonus rather than something that should be integrated into the material. Of course, it’s also worth pointing out that even if Ware’s designs aren’t often visually sympathetic to the material, they’re striking, and most importantly, they’re not this-
This cover design is awesome – you people is nuts
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Reprinted from TCJ #132 (November 1989); conducted by Thom Powers. Continue reading →
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