Thursday 1 May 2008

Adventure Classics

There must have been something in the water British publishers were drinking last year, because three different houses decided it was time to reprint Victorian and Edwardian adventure stories.

Headline Review had four in their range, each with an appealingly scrappy cover. It would be interesting to know whether these were produced digitally, or whether they are photographs of little art boxes made from old illustrations and pages. We may never know, though, because Headline couldn't be arsed promoting this series on their website. (For these and all the other covers here, click for bigger images.)

UPDATE: Extremely talented designer Jonathan Gray (also known as gray318) wrote in the comments about these: "The Headline Adventure Classics were all cut out of paper. A mini stage set was made for each cover and then photographed." This is what I was hoping, as it's always nice to see things made, and not just Photoshopped.

Hodder produced theirown retro Revivals series, using nicely worn scans of early cover art, all with the yellow hues of the era's "scandalous" literature.

Finally, presumably inspired by surprise hit The Dangerous Book for Boys and its millions of annoying spin-offs and imitators, Penguin began their attractive two-colour-design Boys' Own Adventure line.

This line is about to be increased with the addition of a second series.

This weird simultaneity gives a rare opportunity to compare different approaches to the same book (such as The Lost World or Greenmantle), done at the same time.

UPDATE 2: The 12 lovely Penguin covers above were designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith. For more of her work on this blog, see here.


Anonymous said...

the headline adventure classics were all cut out of paper. A mini stage set was made for each cover and then photographed.

JRSM said...

Fantastic: that's what I was hoping. Thanks for letting me know (and well done on your many marvellous covers).

Ian Koviak said...