Friday, June 22, 2007

Can't see the mystery for the trees?

This article from The Rap Sheet blog really made me laugh. Book reps often groan about the covers of books and how often the same stock images are repeated by different publishers with varying success. There is no doubt that design trends run through cover treatments; for example there was a time when shoes dominated and not just on chicklit. Then eyeglasses. And then suitcases. One trend I personally loathed and which seems to have thankfully dissipated was the crop-a-person's-face-in-half (either vertically or horizontally) look. But I've never thought of trees as being particularly sinister until I read J. Kingston Pierce's clever and interesting deconstruction of the covers of numerous recent mystery novels that all use trees as their focal points. He divides the trees into four categories: anthropomorphic trees that invoke human-like monsters, bleak and desolate trees, trees as villians, and mysterious trees.
Now I'll have guilty nightmares where these scary trees gather around my bed threatening me with bad things if they get cut down for another reprint of The Da Vinci Code.

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