Monday, 30 May 2011

"There is a shortage of perfect breasts in this world; 'twould be a pity to damage yours."*

Here's a wonderful submission in the awful and inappropriate cover category from Amie-June Brumble. I'll let her tell the tale:

You're probably familiar with the story of The Princess Bride, either in book or movie form. Fairy tale romance, a princess, a dashing pirate, etc. I knew the story mostly from the much-loved '80s film with Wallace Shawn and Andre the Giant. Recently, I decided to pick up a copy of the book, and went to my local glorious bookstore (Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA). I found two or three copies of the usual cover, showing Buttercup and Wesley running, and...this!

It utterly astounds me the cover image for this fairy tale manages to make it look like horror/tentacle porn.

Naturally, I bought it. It's one of the tackiest things I own. Fun pastime: cover up the title of the book with your hand, show it to people, and ask them what book they think it is. The responses you get are very interesting.

And here's the cover in question:



Ballantine Books has done themselves proud! The artwork is by Esteban Maroto, and I have no idea if it was actually done for this book, or just grabbed from the files as a case of 'It's a fantasy book, this will do!'. Maroto is a Spanish comics artist whose best-known work is a mix of psychedelic 1970s trippiness and sex. Here are a couple of random pages from two different comics by him to give you the idea--click for bigger versions. (Full comics and more Marotoana are to be found here)


* It's from the book, chapter 8--it seemed too appropriate not to use.

15 comments:

downtown guy said...

This was the cover of the first copy I read. I've always liked it quite a bit.

Professor Chaos said...

That cover is absolutely terrifying.

Anonymous said...

I like that as a paperback cover.

I suppose it is inappropriate but I have not read the book or cared much for what little I have seen of the movie.

Cleddy Ness said...

Purely based on the cover illo, I'd have guessed it was Liz Taylor's autobiography.

Brian Busby said...

I see that Ballantine's sword & sorcery cover was published in 1975 - just about the time that I began reading Robert E. Howard and his ilk. Frank Frazetta was my favourite artist. Had I picked it up I would have been so very disappointed.

An admirer of William Goldman, I saw the movie. Didn't like it. Then I read the book. Didn't like it, either. One enthusiastic bookseller offers a less than pristine copy at US$75, adding: "Have I said this is a fabulous book? It is one of only a handful which I first read in pb and then ordered in hardcover. It has something for just about any and everyone."

Each to his own, I suppose.

Matthew Adams said...

Oh boy...

Biblibio said...

I imagined something bad. I don't think I could have ever guessed it would be this bad... Well, that made my day!

Anonymous said...

I am the previous anon.

This reminds me of Sword and Sorcery covers from the 70s.

It brings to mind the late Jeff Jones.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Jones_%28artist%29

Perhaps Caustic Cover would like to run a piece on Jeff Jones to bring him the attention he/she deserved?

LUCEWOMAN said...

It reminded me of an Otto Van Schirach album cover. When I Googled it, I thought "oh, it's not quite that bad' (then again, there is a certain similarity):
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/WFQZMF0RiPY/0.jpg

JRSM said...

Thanks, all.

Brian, there was a time when a Frazetta-style cover was all I needed to make me pick up a book from the school library. A lot of dross was devoured that way.

Anon, that's not a bad idea. I've long liked a number of Jones's pieces, and it was only at her death that I learned about her fascinating life (including the fact that she was now a she).

Lucewoman, that cover--aaaaaaarrgh! I can't unsee it!

pedromarquesdg said...

Funny thing is, "maroto" means naughty in Portuguese. And he certainly could be, sometimes (OK, I will not go any further on this...)

JRSM said...

I think it might be worth pursuing :)

VanityofVanities said...

Beautiful book, but looks like a porn cover. :)

Thanks for sharing,
Cathy@scrubs cheap

David Edward Martin said...

The cover is by the incredible (and incredibly underappreciated) TED COCONIS.
Estaban Maroto came along a little later.
And I loved this cover. Got me to buy the book.

JRSM said...

You mean I've mis-attributed? Aaargh! I'll have to do more research. Thanks for the info, David.