Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jen Wang: Disquiet


The top is the final cover, bottom is an ealier comp. This is the story of a family that reunites in a chateau under dark circumstances. One of the characters has given birth to a stillborn child, and continues carrying the dead baby as if it was a doll. You can see the baby, strangled by its umbilical chord, in the bottom comp, under the coffin. Don't mean to get gruesome or anything...I just think this cover is gorgeous. And the blue is metallic!

14 comments:

Sergio said...

These are amazing. The umbilical cord on the final is so disturbing. Just great.

Jen kicks ass!

Gould said...

I've read the book a couple of month ago! Very intriguing.

Here is the french cover, less stylized but still relevant if you know what's the book's about.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MUWMCBOML._SS500_.jpg

Tal said...

Interesting...thanks, Gould. I wonder if this treatment would ever fly in the US. When I see a book that looks like that in a bookstore, it screams IMPORT! There's something attractive about such a spare treatment, but at the same time, it looks like it could have been put together very quickly. Or like there was a template and all you had to do was find an image. So if you're in the market for a translated European intellectual book, this is what you'll reach for in the bookstore. Otherwise, I think American consumers like to get their money's worth in terms of the designer's blood, sweat and tears.

Gould said...

I agree.

There's no tradition for modern book design in France as in the US where size of readership allows to put money on design, because you'll get your money back anyway.

In Italy book design is just as beautiful as in the US.

Tal said...

can you post some links to some good Italian covers?

Gould said...

This one for Paul Auster latest, very very simple but so effective :
http://www.einaudi.it/servlet/einaudi.AllegatoServlet?tipo=null&isbn=978880619474&codSoc=87&categObj=IMM&cod_allegato=1507072&codSito=EI

This one for Gomorra (a must read, to be released in the US this fall, the movie tie-in is great) :
http://www.librimondadori.it/web/mondadori/mediabox/sfoglialibro/gomorra

Or Junto Diaz's :
http://www.librimondadori.it/web/mondadori/mediabox/sfoglialibro/la-breve-favolosa-vita-di-oscar-wao

Ian Brian Shimkoviak said...

very lovely... and disturbing.

Not sure what the hell is wrong with European book design, but it blows so badly that it's beyond words...

Ian Brian Shimkoviak said...

the vibe of the story reminds me of stuff I've been seeing here: http://www.revelationart.net/index_frames.html

Gould said...

There's just no book design tradition here. When you look at the back cover of a book you'll only see copyright for a photo, nothing else.

Blair said...

Just out of curiosity, where are you writing from Gould? (somewhere in Europe, I assume?)

Blair said...

Love the subtle inclusion of the baby in the original comp.

Gould said...

Old Europe yes

Gould said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzrQEmyEIvI&eurl

Gould said...

a slightly, if not improved, version with a photo negative effect is out :
http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/27670000/27677289.jpg