Sunday, April 15, 2012
heaving collarbones and menacing sexuality
Here is a YA book cover for your imagination.
Picture this: A pouting girl with voluptuous lips sits, turned at an angle with her chin down, on a cane rocking chair in a firelit, dusky cabin. Her wild black hair swirls unexplainably about her face, and her dress is open beneath her neck, revealing her obviously heaving collarbones and alabaster pale skin. Her eyes are unnaturally emerald-hued and she appears heavily burdened with sadness, mystery, and wild, insatiable sexuality. Behind her is a four-paned window, through which we see the menacing shape of a tree with more leafless and sharp spiny branches than a clustering orgy of spawning sea urchins, while three silhouetted birds fly off, ominously, into the ashy sky. There is a faint image of a muscular, shirtless young black man watching the girl through the window. For some unmedical reason, his eyes are yellow. The insanely beautiful girl with black black black eye makeup is trying to thread a very phallic needle.
Okay. Did that get you sweaty?
I figured that's the cover I'd design if I were trying to get The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to be placed on the YA shelf of Barnes and Noble today.
I'd be an outstanding marketer!
The scene -- although liberally interpreted for the sake of art and sex, sex, sex! -- is right from the book, after all. Nobody needs to know ahead of time that it's the famous transvestite scene -- that the sexy maiden is actually Huck.
Yesterday, I spoke with my friend A.S. King about my idea to "redo" YA book covers if they had to be marketed to the only national chain bookstore today.
Oh! We had fun!
Just wait till I tell you about my To Kill a Mockingbird cover!
You'll have to take a cold shower!
I wanted to actually use elements from real YA bookcovers, but I would be sued, sued, sued! And some of those YA authors out there are known to be real scrappers.