Friday, 5 September 2014

I've got to disagree with Brian, when he suggests that the cover of an exposé like Massacre 747 should have at least a passing resemblance to the incident described inside.  Not the point at all, as the Master himself explains in How to Write a Be$t $eller:

"The objective of the artwork is to make the jacket eye-catching, to make it catch the browser’s roving eye. After all, if he doesn’t stop and look, he’ll never pick up the book, which is what you hope he’ll do next.  Once he has it in his hand, he will be entranced and captivated by the artwork and the kaleidoscope of seductive colors and suggestive intertwined forms…"

You're getting hung up on details.  Where the Russian plane was and what the pilot could see when he shot down Flight 007.  (Although that's the alleged point of Rohmer's book.) As Ronald Reagan once explained, "facts are stupid things."

I think Massacre 747 has the best -- coolest, least-amateurish -- cover of a Rohmer since the American paperback of Ultimatum.  The rest of Rohmer's covers run the gamut from botch to disgrace.  The effect of the average Rohmer cover is to make you think design is impossible.

Have you ever been in an Abercrombie & Fitch?  They smell bad, the music is terrible, and the walls are covered in photographs of hulking, shirtless teenage creeps.  And you think: I get the message, but you're working way too hard to get me not to shop here. 

Like the cover of Periscope Red.  Message:  I asked a dimwit to draw this cover with his left hand. Please don't read this half-assed book.  It will only make you sad.

I guess Balls! is okay.

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