Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Tutis 3: The Tutising

I'm sorry if this looks like a case of a blogger flogging a dead horse, but the more I look at the Tutis catalogue, the more "delights" I find (for earlier ventures into this strange parallel universe of hopelessness, see here and here).

First, here are some covers that could best be grouped together under the title 'Geographical Fuckwittery'.










And here are some masterful Thomas Hardy covers. I thank sharp-eyed Rich Cousins for spotting the best of these. As he says, the cover of Wessex Tales features guitarist Slash from the ridiculous band Guns 'N' Roses, stolen from the cover of computer game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.





'There's a trumpet-major... in my pants!' is a famous chat-up line in Wessex.

I'm really going to try to leave Tutis alone after this, but I can't make any promises.

21 comments:

Julie said...

It's so hard to believe that some of those covers are actually real and not just created by some computer program.

Ian Shimkoviak said...

Jesus, I can't fit in my slacks...

where are you getting these. I need me a few copies just for a an ice breaker at parties...

JRSM said...

Julie: Even a computer choosing random images ought to get it right more often than these guys do. It's all very odd.

Ian: It's tempting, although they're all ridiculously expensive (ie $20 for a short, public-domain book with a vile cover). Try www.tutisclassics.com for more of the madness.

Derek said...

Or to get rid of clients you don't particularly like. "Yeah. I'm a designer. Have a look at a few samples of my work, see what you think."

Anne said...

I can't believe no one has mentioned the cover to Dickens's "Hard Times"! It has an ominous clock face hovering over a flattened globe that appears to be surrounded by rings of ones and zeros . . . I guess it's someone's idea of "time" looking "hard"?
http://www.tutisclassics.com/bookdetails.aspx?bookid=3254&searchText=

JRSM said...

Ah, yes, Dickens' famous interest in binary code finally receives its due recognition.

Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

I have to agree with Julie... I call bullshit. These covers just can't be real. Come on. Really?

How about the cover of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"-- it's just a photo of a funnelcake and a toothless carnie.


(made you look).

JRSM said...

I wish I could invent this level of madness, but I promise it's all true.

That proposed Rand cover would make 'Atlas Shugged' look almost inviting!

Rich said...

I like The Gracchi Marius and Sulla (sic; apparently they don't deserve commas). Someone obviously did some research, found that Sulla was often called "Sulla Felix", found that "felix" meant "lucky" or "happy" and...

JRSM said...

That suggests an unusual amount of thinking on their part... Weird

JRSM said...

They've used that same cover picture on 'Toasts and Forms of Public Address' by William Pittenger (ISBN: 978-8132001386).

Ben said...

Thanks so much for posting these covers - "Norwegian Life" and "..Afternoons in Chicago" are dadaist genius.

My initial thought was that maybe they were forced to select their covers from some very, very limited bank of public domain images, for some reason. But then how would that square with all the blatant copyright violation? The whole thing is just unfathomable.

Even leaving that aside though, surely the big question is what kind of lunatic is paying $20 for these things, when regular editions of the books with sensible covers are in most cases available for pennies?

It's a whole mess of madness.

Gareth said...

Anyone remember the joke where the doctor asks the man if his premature ejaculation has improved at all and the man replies "No, it's still touch and go."

I only mention it because it appears to have influenced one of their D.H. Lawrence covers:

http://www.tutisclassics.com/bookdetails.aspx?bookid=1632&searchText=DRAMA

Leigh said...

Please don't stop!

I choose to believe that they have unknowingly employed a dedicated dadaist as their cover designer and pay absolutely no attention to his or her output. Rock on, my bizarre and brilliant friend.

Steerforth said...

It's an embarrassment of riches. If I had to pick a favourite, Wessex Tales or Cranford would probably be my covers of choice.

I won't rest until I find out whether these covers are the product of madness, evil genius, incompetence or laziness.

The mystery must be solved!

JRSM said...

Gareth: I might have to reproduce your discovery and comment as a post (with credit)--it made me laugh a lot.

Leigh: So that means you get your wish!

Steerforth: I've (slightly shadily) approached Tutis to interview them about how they go about doing their covers. If they respond, this should be very interesting.

Gareth said...

Please do recycle my comments.

The cover for Edgar Wallace's "The Daffodil Mystery" is quite perverse:

http://www.tutisclassics.com/bookdetails.aspx?bookid=1310&searchText=FIC022000

Unless the mystery is: "Why has my daffodil been exchanged for a carnation?"

JRSM said...

At least it's a flower! Your comments are gratefully re-used at http://causticcovercritic.blogspot.com/2009/08/no-self-control.html

Hypersteve said...

Did you check out Tutis cover for " three Black Pennies" featuring a pile of golden nickels?

JRSM said...

They always know just how to do it wrong, don't they? Actually, I've noticed Tutis haven't published anything since May--I wonder if they still exist.

Anonymous said...

My God, I couldn't even make it past 'The Alaskan' before I broke down into uncontrollable laughter. Thanks much!