Thursday, 29 January 2009

When Self-Publishers Hire Friends Instead of Professional Cover Designers...

..these are the results:

As far as I know, one man is responsible for all of these. I shall not include his name or the titles of the books in the text here, as I fear him stumbling upon me. Also, from his site, he seems an awfully nice chap, and I feel bad about the sneering (though obviously not enough to not do it). And if that last cover isn't making use of a photo of Indiana Jones then I'll eat that hat.

UPDATE: Readers, I ate that hat. Sharp-eyed commenter Kim Senior points out that the cover in question actually knocks off this Humphrey Bogart image. The trenchcoat should have tipped me off.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Complaints About the Heat, plus Lust!

As I mentioned yesterday, it was 45.7°C (114°F) here in Adelaide. Today it's only a degree or two lower, and it's expected to be like this for at least the next week. This is a shite state of affairs by any standard, and it has inspired me to get together a post I've been working on about climate change book designs. However, that's a lot of work in this heat, so while you wait, make do with some dodgy old book covers featuring people dressed appropriately for this sort of temperature.

Lusty lusty lust LUST lust lust LUST!

More--many more--at Hangfire Books' Flickr page.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Art versus Reality

As an exercise in illusion-shattering, Femme Fatales by Nerida Campbell would be hard to beat.

Produced to accompany an exhibition by New South Wales' Historic Houses Trust, Femme Fatales presents a series of images of female criminals as presented in 1920s-1950s movies and pulps, and then contrasts them with a selection of photographs from the archives of Syney's Long Bay Gaol, taken between 1914 and 1930. (Click for much bigger, readable versions.)

It's no great surprise that reality differs wildly from fiction, but it is jarring to see just how pathetic all of these backyard abortionists, unfortunate bigamists, sly grog sellers and murderers look, even those dressed up in what must seem to have been their fanciest duds.

It's a fascinating book, if extraordinarily light on information. There's an great short biography waiting to be written about most of the female crims in this book: they certainly deserve more than a brief paragraph each.

* * *

A rare personal aside: today in Adelaide it was 45.7°C (114°F), and it's expected to be such for the next week. Balls to that, I say.

Sunday, 25 January 2009