Sunday, 3 May 2009

Poe Facelift

Late last year I previewed the cover of an imminent Edgar Allan Poe collection from penguin.

See that post for the background to the cover, but in brief it's a collage by Richard Hamilton, altered by Harland Miller, with text cut-ups provided by Stefanie Posavec. And I really like it.

Now, though, that Poe book seems to have been given a facelift, and it will look like this:

The art is now one of Harland Miller's oil paintings derived from old Penguin covers.
Another, much funnier, example is this:

I do like Miller's Penguin paintings, but this particular use as a cover doesn't seem to be that inspired, especially compared with what they already had. I'd be interested to know what inspired the change.

Miller, by the way, is also a talented writer. His Slow Down Arthur, Stick to Thirty is an amusing novel, and he also wrote First I Was Afraid, I Was Petrified, a novella about suffering obsessive-compulsive disorder, illustrated with found photographs of stove knobs set to 'off'.

More of Miller's Penguin paintings can be found in his collection International Lonely Guy.


Unknown said...

not into this guys art or the cover...

JRSM said...

I suspect I'm influenced by my love for those old Penguins. I'd certainly agree his art has a one-note quality. But I still like the original Poe cover: the new one, not much.

rob said...

Shame about the change - copyright problems, maybe?

JRSM said...

You might be right, though it seems as though it would be the sort of thing a publisher would sort out before commissioning a cover.