Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Criminal

Atlantic Books have just launched a new series of 'Crime Classics', reprinting a mix of well-known and little-known great crime novels and story collections from the 18th, 19th and very early 20th centuries. As a reader, it's the little-known stuff I'm most interested in, like Gerald Griffin's The Collegians or Sheridan Le Fanu's Wylder's Hand, since there are no shortage of editions of Bleak House, Sherlock Holmes stories or Poe's mysteries on the market.

But take a look at them! They're beautifully designed books, nicely combining a retro 1950s/60s style with some very modern twists. The series look was created by an entity known as Wallzo, while each cover was illustrated by a different artist. Click for bigger versions.












Lovely stuff. The plan, apparently, is to put out a new book in the series each month at least until the end of 2009.

Now, next post will be an interview with the generous and multi-talented Coralie Bickford-Smith. You can prepare yourself by reading these previous posts on her work.

7 comments:

Ian Shimkoviak said...

fucking splendid. ALL OF THEM.
Oh the envy of both design and type of projects...

JRSM said...

Beautiful, aren't they? I've bought 'The Collegians' because I didn't already have it, but I wish I could justify getting all of the others... Too many pretty books! Not enough space/money!

Ben said...

These covers are indeed beautiful! For all the self-consciously retro touches in the design, it's great to see someone putting in the effort to give old books covers that are both aesthetically perfect and genuinely kinda crazed and distinctive - I bet that one for the Poe book just leaps off the shelf.

I'd question the series' definition of the crime genre though - I suppose 'Bleak House' and 'The Man Who Was Thursday' are 'crime' in the sense that they involve people commiting crimes, but beyond that...?

I suppose there's an acknowledged "classic popular fiction" slant, but nonetheless, if your criteria is that vague you might as well throw in 'The Secret Agent', 'Crime & Punishment', 'The Merchant Of Venice', who knows what else.

Ricky Grove said...

Wow! love these covers and the title selection is good, too. Thanks! Be interesting to see what other choices they make in the future.

JRSM said...

..if your criteria is that vague you might as well throw in 'The Secret Agent', 'Crime & Punishment', 'The Merchant Of Venice', who knows what else.

That's probably true, but I'd kind of like to see them throw their net that widely, just to see the cover designs they come up with!

Tulkinghorn said...

The Serie Noir released Oedipus Rex as its 1,000th volume.

Wide-cast net indeed.

JRSM said...

Thanks for pointing that out--I'm looking at some of those Serie Noir covers now. I think I feel a post coming on!