In the comments to this post, talented designer Ingrid Paulson says "I think you've stumbled on a cover meme. Sometimes I'll talk with other book designers in Canada and we'll look back on a season's worth of jackets and say, 'Well, that was a blue season,' or, 'Look at the number of cut-off heads.' Different publishers (even different genres), same visual conclusion. A cover meme. With the internet, I think cover memes are going international."
Cover memes is such a useful phrase for describing this weird confluence of images, where a number of books designed by different people all end up using similar images on their covers (as distinct from when they all use exactly the same image on their covers) that I'm going to steal it, use it, and probably beat it to death.
Here's another: poor, blameless chihuahuas being used to symbolise vacuous wealth, celebrity and mindless label-shopping, presumably thanks to a certain bizarrely famous media whore and socialite.
And in an addendum to my various Ronald Searle posts, its worth noting that new editions of his four books with Geoffrey Willans are coming out in October.
Here are what I believe to be the first edition covers.
UPDATE: By purest chance, I see that BibliOdyssey is showing pages from Searle's Winespeak.