Tuesday, September 1, 2009
What I have to say is difficult but it had to happen sometime. The cache of covers from the library books I weeded over a year ago has run out. I hope you enjoyed the illustrations, the links and the commentary. I had a lot of fun giving these old covers a fresh breath of life and entertaining you in the process. A great big THANK YOU to all the sweet people who visited from week to week and had such nice things to say - and great blogs of their own! I can be found at Upstate Oddities or on Facebook.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Young Billy has a lot on his mind. Literally. And we all know what boys have on the brain, don't we, nudge nudge, wink wink? But Billy is different. His mild-mannered sensitivity doesn't fit this gross generalization. The reveries that emanate from his neatly coiffed helmet head represent a paragon of wholesomeness. Captured in his great big thought balloon is the sweet, maternal tenderness embodied by a Madonna and Child. Either that or the illustrator cleverly worked a Venn Diagram into the design, one which supports an abstinence-only agenda by showing what may happen when a boy and a girl...ahem...overlap. Damn ambiguous book cover!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Would you believe me if I told you this book is about a kid whose delusional dad dreams of becoming a wrestling superstar? Yeah, me neither, because the only association with wrestling in this illustration would have to be the title, right? So I'm going to imagine a different story... the story of "Half" Nelson and his buddy "Full" Nelson on a psychedelic joyride through the highways, byways and extremely elevated overpasses of America. The ones with the teeny tiny guard rails and distracting tropical birds. Tropical birds...Um, guys? I think you made a wrong turn. Onto a monorail. Yep, I thinks that's what happened. A little birdie told me.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Oh, God, no... not again. Not another migraine. Ugh, I can feel it coming on, feel those demons cavorting on my cranium. But that doesn't really describe the agonizing ache - feels more like pins pushing through my pineal gland or...or...(fuck, this hurts) thorns thrusting through my thalamus. Or serpents slithering through my cerebellum. Oh, sweet bejeebus, make it stop! It feels like ballerinas pirouetting en pointe and executing perfect arabesques on my parietal lobe. Yes, that's what it is! Tiny dancers dashing my desire to live. I... need... relief!
Note to my readers: If you go here, I promise your head will stop hurting from all those nasty links :)
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The following is a handy dandy guide to the components that make up a superbly lame 1980's YA cover illustration: (You can thank me later)
1) Disembodied heads floating amid a neutral background. Extra special lameness if one of the heads is a geeky kid with thick glasses just waiting for you to get undressed. (please cover book before getting into your jammies, girls)
3) Random grouping of lilliputians
4) Giant central character in a seemingly catatonic state. Extra points if she's so out of it she's neglected her hair. (Girlfriend, break out the conditioner!)
Combine all elements, slap on an ominous title and finish with a tri-named author. Voila! You have a young adult masterpiece, moldering in the stacks of a time-traveling library near you!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Jan Michael Vincent, fresh from his hugely popular stint flying helicopters for our viewing pleasure, takes on his most challenging role yet. Soldier Boy is the emotionally-charged tale of a courageous young private with a serious case of the sads. On leave for a few days, his heart is shat upon and shattered when his girlfriend (played by the beautiful Lea Thompson) confesses that she is smitten with an inamorato of a different feather. But all's well in the end when our hero, stationed in the Antarctic, finds a chance for acceptance and happiness with his own web-footed friends.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Turtles have a leisurely, gentle way about them. They're slow and steady and don't partake in any seaside drama. But just try to mess with their eggs!
These are some of the last known photos taken of one C. Sheldon Smith during a school field trip to the shore. Repeatedly told by his teacher "not to disturb the eggs; to look, don't touch; and to get your grimy hands off the goddamn eggs, how many times do I have to tell you, you freakish little moron," Sheldon squatted down, scooped up a cache of freshly laid leathery orbs, and in so doing, incurred the mighty wrath of mama turtle.
May the following snapshot, taken moments before the horrible deaths of Sheldon and his classmates (and the surrounding townsfolk) serve as a warning to us all.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
David Silver has ditched his dreams of hip-hop glory to run away with an unlikely paramour. With her shoulder to lean on, he travels the globe to more highly elevated and barren zip codes to escape the face that haunts his (and humanity's) nightmares.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
There's an image so frightening here that shakes me to the core and turns my insides into pudding just thinking about it. No, it's not the thought of traveling through time and meeting one's older, cross-dressing self as this young man has done. That would be awesome. Look above that. See the girl falling through space? Egads! I can't think of anything more spectacularly frightening than to be precariously perched, not being
Thursday, July 2, 2009
It took an inspired artist to draw this mind-blowing trippiness and two authors to pen it and still I have no idea what it's about (and this is after reading the jacket blurb) except to learn that someone is the prisoner of their own psychic powers. Is it the haloed dude with the expanding psinuses? Or perhaps Admiral Adama there on the left disguised as Chief Needsmoisturizer. Could it be the boyish girl with emerald eyes on the right? The dapper trio in the corner? Or is it the two-headed biker? (I know, I know - it just looks like a two-headed biker, but any excuse to link to a Ray Milland pic is one I'm taking) That leaves our central figure. Hmmmm, the only thing he's a prisoner of would be snazzy biker fashion...and I guess psilocybin. Feed your head with YA fiction, kids!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Ah, the birds of summer...the chicks of YA novels. Big sis gazes with wonky eyes at vistas most pleasing, while she gently rests her protective hands on the sun-kissed shoulders of her darling sister. And how adorable is little sis? A veritable clone of Buffy herself (no, not that Buffy - this one!) But don't let this idyllic scene fool you. The sinister trees do stir, bwahahahaha!
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Ah, theater geeks, how I love them! For all the dramaramas I knew in high school who were mocked by the jocks and bullied by the beauty queens, this monologue is for you:
[clears throat, enters stage right]
Give me your teen outcasts, your shunned soliloquists, your huddled rehearsers yearning to breathe free the wretched refuse of your teeming high school hallways. Send these, the dramatic dabblers, the backstage babes, tempest-tost to me, I lift my spot light beside the golden stage. Yes, young thespian, hug thyself!*
*and get the boy to do your hair and make-up - I'm sure he's fabulous at it, darling!
Monday, May 25, 2009
I assume the publisher's intent was to offer a cover illustration that would appeal to teen girls back in the day. This picture certainly includes some elements of popular teen style - the high-waisted jeans, the necklace dangling over the sweater collar just so, and other accoutrements that define these creatures - the teddy bears, the teen idols ripped from the pages of Tiger Beat and the oh-so-precious knickknacks. Yet there's something a bit off about these two. Are they even teenagers? It's like they're a representation of what teenage girls would look like as rendered by someone who's never seen a teenaged girl....or by someone who's never seen a human? I think our clue lies in that
big old V in the title.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
In this modern version of Gulliver's Travels, we find our perplexed protagonist waking up in the big sky country of Montana - a land of rope fonts and lilliputian rodeo revellers, who harass our hapless hero with frightful clown antics, terrifying stunts of horsemanship and an endless loop of musical torment.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Whatchoo lookin' at cowboy? If this is a muthafuckin' stare-off, you can save yerself the trouble and declare me the winner right now. What'd you just call me? Mallory?! The name's ain't Mallory - it's Cat, see? Cat, myself! Got it? Landsakes, what kind of plumb crazy name is Mallory - that's a duck, ain't it? Oh, what's that you say? A mallard's a duck? Well ain't you the edgycated one! Now you just back off my land, smarty-chaps, lest you want to make the aquaintance of my colt. And that ain't no horsie, hoss. I reckon you'd best giddy-yap outta here 'fore I lose my temper. Shit.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Not for the faint-hearted comes this harrowing tale of a recent graduate of the Andrew Wyeth School of Modeling, who unfortunately strikes a pose at the same moment a graduate of the Jacques-Louis David School of Equine Modeling attempts to out-vogue her. When asked what possessed him to trample upon a little girl's dream of posing perfection, the slick stallion replied nonsensically.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Ah, the good times. What's there to say as I sit here perfecting my Playgirl pose? My younger sibs are eager to reminisce about growing up in this hick town, but I ignore them by contemplating a piece of straw and chuckling to myself. Hmmph. What good times?
That's all I've got, kiddos. Take my advice - get out of here and see the rest of the world.
Wanna know what this book is really about? Teen suicide. Yep, the kid in the docksiders hangs himself! I love YA fiction, don't you?
Saturday, April 25, 2009
How far would I have gotten? Hmm, pretty far from the looks of it, since me and my Ford have driven into an alternate (and freshly paved) universe where the sunsets are psychedelic and the ice cream is radioactive. I have a hunch there's a very large cowboy who's gonna be looking for his hat soon, and being that I'm not really a country girl - rock and roll's more my scene - I'll be going home now. I just have to figure out how.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I reckon that the Beckoner, with his outstretched ectoplasmic hands, is beckoning you to dive into his story. With his windswept hair and scruffy good looks he's a dreamy dude, yes? Except for that part about being a ghost. A lonely ghost. He'll do everything to convince you to stay with him, to become him. So just lalala away his earnest entreaties, and satisfy your romantic seaside cravings by
listening to this instead.
Monday, April 13, 2009
For spring break I wanted to do something really wild, ya know, shoot for the moon! Maybe backpack through Italy, see the Coliseum, or backpack in front of a poster of the Coliseum. Whatevs. Only hitch is that my 'rents wouldn't let me go solo. No probs, right? All I had to do was tack up a classified on the dorm bulletin board seeking a SWF to tag along with me. This girl Hedy responded at once - coolio, right? Wrong-o. I liked her enough at first but then she started dressing like me and getting the same kicky haircut as me (and she's also aged about 20 years) and well, now that we've reached the Coliseum (ok, it's a poster, so what!) I'm starting to get a bit creeped out. Good thing I packed my trusty Duncan - my mad yoyo defense skillz may come in handy.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Oh lawdy lawd, it's finally come, that bright light at the end of this wintry tunnel.... Spring Break, wooohoooo!! I'll be going wild up in the Land that Time Forgot, aka the beautiful Catskills. No technology, no traffic, no work....me happy! Have a wonderful Easter, and remember children, bunnies are not toys. They are living creatures that need to be treated with respect...or else.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Young Louise had it all. Healthy shiny hair, bitchin' wheels & fun-loving friends. She was young and wild and living close to the edge. Little did she know that her freewheelin' 80s lifestyle would crash and the 90s would find her slinging hash in a pitiful diner. She yearned for the excitement of her youth, the wind in her hair, the open road! So she kissed her dull life goodbye, picked up her BFF and went on an adventure that brought her not close to the edge, but damn well over it!*
*I really hated the end of this movie. Harvey would have helped them. I know he would!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I'm really digging the diagonal composition of this illustration - the delicate branches have a Japanese vibe. However, it stops there. The rest of the subject matter is freaking me the frak out. The title suggests science fiction. I suppose that would explain the neon tubes blasting out of the kid's jacket, as well as his super cool tricorder and the electric blue intrinsic field-subtracted halo surrounding him. However, it does not explain these things (shudder):
According to the blurb they are "lumpies ~ gray smiling creatures, innocent yet knowing." Lumpies, shmumpies! RUN!!!!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I admit that my brother Georgie is an odd little fellow, what with his X-ray eyes and his pop issues. No, not with our dad, dodo, with pop. As in art. Ever hear of it?
Nobody in this hick town has. Don't believe me? Here's a snapshot of my life as written by this chick Suzanne Newton:
"Neal's family harbors deep secrets. His rebellious older sister Aileen is in danger of not graduating high school. His little brother Georgie has his own engulfing fear [lasik surgery?] which even Neal can't fully understand. Neal finds a fulfilling outlet in jazz music, but even this haven is not safe from the scrutiny of a small Southern town."
Man, these crackers don't know nuthin - always asking me what jazz is. Jeez, if you've gotta ask, then you don't know, do ya? That's it, Georgie bro, we're on the next train outta here!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
What a career Mario Lopez has had! From his early days playing that cute knucklehead A.C. Slater to his twinkle-toed moves on Dancing with the Ho's to every forgettable thing in between, now comes the pinnacle of his career! He will soon be hosting a pointless...er, I mean exciting show bound to delight one and all! Get ready for Shot Put with the Stars!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
The average teen would think this is about the romantic rivalry between two buff boys in teeny tiny swim shorts. Well, it's not. That's where my astute eye comes in to decipher this seemingly benign tableau. The shape of the megaphone may symbolize the romantic triangle laid out before us, but some oddities beg addressing. What are we to make of that phallic amulet around the cute boy's neck? I refuse to believe it's a whistle - an artist who can render such realistically snug fitting shorts, not to mention that mod yet modest two-toned one piece, could surely draw a simple, accurate whistle! Could this amulet be a symbol of his desire to play on the other side of the fence where the true object of his affection waits? Perhaps. He's clearly giving a coded gesture to the other hunkalicious hottie. Or is he? Take a good look at that hand. What is that thing? It's so distracting! But maybe that's the point! The artist has succeeded in distracting us by focusing on these figures who themselves are distracted. Two of them are presumably lifeguards, yet they show little interest in guarding lives. And we all know what happens the moment you take your eyes off the water!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Top o' the morning to you! What a fine, soft day to be wearing a fine, soft Hogwarts scarf. Unfortunately, it seems that our young hero's reverie will shortly be interrupted by the laddie with the jaunty cap purposefully striding his way. And what of the graffiti? Unify ire lad? He doesn't seem all that angry. Hmmm, unify fire lanes? Begorrah! Unify Ireland! According to the blurb, "A spiral of events in Brian O'Brien's life (yup, that really is his name) will splinter his family, leave one brother dead, and fill the quiet Brian with an awful despair that threatens its own explosion."
Poor Brian. I wish he could riverdance into a different world. One that's clean-as-a-whistle and magically delicious.
Happy St. Patty's Day on Tuesday!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Neve Campbell finds herself trapped in the bizarre world of a YA book cover where she is depicted as a pouty, windswept giantess roaming suburban backyards on a quest to protect sunbathing girls from harmful UV rays and the volatile boys in snug jeans who threaten them. I mean, what else am I to deduce from this cover? According to the blurb it's about a girl who lapses into a coma for four years (color me surprised) after her mother is murdered (I swear I'm not making this up) but does this cover in any way reflect that? ARGH!
I do like the placement and font of the title. The boy's ass.....not so much.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Aww christ, wouldn'tcha know it! My shift's about to end and I'm hankering for a deep-fried treat when alls a sudden in front of my bumper there's this knucklehead tempting death by peddling without a helmet! When are these goons gonna learn? Maybe he'd like to watch this in the clink.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
You're probably wondering why I'm sitting here looking all droopy dog depressed even though there's so much beauty in this sun-shiny world I'm sitting in. I have a fine fisherman's sweater, kickin' Fryes and cool Patti Smith eyes, so what's got me down? Well, duh, I'm in a YA novel. The storm clouds are approaching. Why don't you just open the book and read the inside blurb...
"Beth Corey hates living with her father, his new wife, and their baby, but after her mother's suici-"
STOP! See what I mean? Toss me an umbrella, won't you?
Sunday, March 1, 2009
To the CEO of American Tourister Luggage,
We are alarmed and outraged at your recent television commercial in which you thoughtlessly hawk your wares at the expense of a noble creature's dignity, one no less imprisoned! Where will it stop? Does anyone know?
Please accept our apology. We have seen the error of our ways and will strive to show more compassion in our advertising campaigns. As a result, we have decided to employ an angelic moppet who will sit cross-legged atop our latest model of fine luggage and test its strength and durability by regaling you with a popular ditty.
CEO of American Tourister
Please bring back the ape.
American Tourister Model Suitcase #523
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
This just in from the Associated Press:
Sharing the spotlight with the esteemed Caldecott, Newbury and Michael Printz awards comes another type of award.
O. Pennbook, president of the ALA* had this to say: "A myriad of awards are presented each year to recognize excellence in youth literature. But what of the truly lame cover illustrations that serve to detract from this so-called fine literature? Where is their recognition? Where is their tribute for being so truly awful as to negate the intrinsic worth of a book, to cause a young impressionable mind to choose not to read? To create such an illustration demonstrates profound talent! And so, we now present the Craptastic Art Cover Awards or the CACAs. This year's winner, The Watcher in the Garden, was chosen not only for its perfect melding of the crappy with the creepy but for featuring characters from other works of fiction as depicted in their movie adaptations! That droog intensely eyeing us comes courtesy of Anthony Burgess while the greasy-haired foppish sucka in the foreground comes courtesy of Anne Rice. Bravo!"
* Association of Lame Artists, not to be confused with the American Library Association.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Sheesh, calm the heck down, people, it's just a movie! And a lame one at that. Yeah, I've heard all the buzz about how brave the actor was for taking on such a challenging role. How his character suffers great physical pain - it's old age, dude, get used to it! I can even understand how alarming his appearance may seem to some. Granny and little bro look like they've never seen an ugly mug before. But I'll be damned if he gets to bring home a little gold statue tomorrow night for that boring shit!
Academy, don't let me down. You know who really deserves it!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
If it weren't for that jerk Sebastian, I could play with my pussy in peace. (Hey, get your minds out of the gutter!)
I'll be going on vacation this week thanks to the public school system (yay!) so I won't be posting for a little while. Here are some instructions while I'm gone.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Look, girls, I get it. You want me to call all those shiny, happy people who kiss in the hallways and hold hands in the cafeteria losers just to give you a fleeting sense of superiority. I won't do that. Instead, I'd like to address all you adorkable girls out there with the bad feathered hair who idle away your free time staring into space fantasizing about being best friends with a couple of superstars; to the girls who gently hold their glasses while in deep discussion with a friend who has formed an unhealthy relationship with her volleyball; to the girls who the boys never talk to and who never get asked out; to the girls who could never really relate to the sophisticated girls with the great hair and perfect makeup and awesome disco threads; to the girls who end up eating their lunch in the music wing with all the other social outcasts,* I've got this to say to you: JUST SAY NO to that odious popularity contest coming up on February 14. Accept the fact that you will receive nary a card nor chocolate heart on that despicable Hallmark Hall of Shame Holiday. Ignore the pretty girls carrying cheap bouquets of roses into Chem class. Because you know what? Valentine's day means nothing and high school sucks! Put some music on and get over it!
* Even though this pretty much sums up my wretched life c.1978, I did not, in fact, have a close friend with an unhealthy attachment to a volleyball...tho that would have been fun!
Monday, February 9, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I love this book cover! Finally, a title font that complements the illustration. And the placement of the author's name (who, by the way, is still a prolific YA novelist) is perfect. But enough of that, I want to jump aboard the Crystal love train - she is pure pop 80's perfection! From her hoop earrings to her neon pink tunic; from her knock off Chanel belt to her shiny
leggings, her hotness is melting the polar ice caps! This girl's got it on, especially while gracing the paps with a pose as she's leaving her steel-clad fortress of fashion. The world will know who she is. She's ready for .........!
Uh-oh. I got so blinded by Crystal, that I missed something that's a bit off, something of a "Persian flaw" the artist tossed into an otherwise perfect composition. Do you see it? Look carefully. Girl is gonna be pissed when she turns to tomorrow's "Seen About Town" column of the paper and lays her Cover Girl eyes on this!
Seriously, the angle and distance of that camera lens is so off. Arghhh!
I've had it. I learned to accept my unfortunate first name and all its cruel variations my peers find so amusing - Transy, Pansy, Mansy - you name it. I even learned to live with the inexplicable and sudden shrinking of my parents. But now I find myself being caught in the middle of their pen-and- ink-stippled world of anger and depression and I just. can't. cope. Mom is always pissed off; Dad just stares at the wall wearing that same dirty turtleneck day after day. If I hear one more teacher or guidance counselor tell me to turn my frown upside down I will have a cow, I swear! It is time for my liberation. Goodbye cruel world. Hello to a new one. I have a plan.
*This was the last known document to be verified as written by Tansy Warner. She disappeared from her home in Nutley, New Jersey on January 31, 1989. It is the belief, of those who knew her, that in the years that followed her mysterious disappearance she somehow managed to disguise her gender, hone her acting talents and enter into a very lucrative career in film and television. This has yet to be proven.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
No, I am not Joshua Bell. Gawd, why does everyone think I look like him? It's so annoying. Even more annoying is my sister Peggy. She thinks she's so cute and clever by referring to me as second fiddle of the family (hardy har, Pegleg) and saying stuff like "fiddle-dee-dee" when I ask her to please get her goddamn humongo accordion case off the goddamn table, it's blocking the goddamn TV, jeez! She's just sore because mom and dad make her take those dorky accordion lessons and I got to pick a cool instrument. So now she's always dissin' on my strings. Yeah, Pegasuck, like playing polka is all that! Well I'm not embarrassed to look you right in the eye and tell you that violin players are the hippest cats in the whole friggin world and universe. So there, Square Peg!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Poor Peggy Pressungkasten! She's trying desperately hard to envision herself playing a cello or a tenor sax or just about anything else with a higher coolness quotient than an accordion. She will not make eye contact with you. It would crush her. Instead, she'll gather up whatever inner strength she has left and look heavenward whilst constructing a fantasy of her musical savior The King, accompanying her in a polka duet. If only she could time travel forward to 2009, she would not feel so alone in her dorkitude. She would rule!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
This is the most perfectly rendered chain link fence I have ever seen. The twists and turns of every link have been masterfully and lovingly painted to truly capture the form and function of this quotidian barrier. It's so damn beautiful, I feel compelled to write a lyric poem about it, or at least climb it! It's too bad all of the artist's anal retentive efforts went into it because when he got to the girl he FORGOT TO GIVE HER A HAND!! He gave her a stump. Poor girl. I know this dude she can get in touch with. He helped another tennis chick who had a lot more missing than a hand.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Yes, it will be quite difficult to survive your life with a head that resembles something you'd use to scrape day-old pasta off a dinner plate. If only the young lady in question had been a better communicator. Her unfortunate predicament (which I'm sure will be tearfully transcribed in her precious diary) began with her love of a popular daytime soap opera. She told her hairstylist that she wanted to look exactly like the star. She should have been more specific, no?
Hey, get a looksee at the artist's signature - I knew I had seen his work before!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Someone's been sleeping *coughguardcough* on the job. Yeah, loser, we all see the empty expanse in the Dutch Masters room, but who exactly are you shouting at? You're the night guard, bozo! No one else is there to hear your urgent shouts or witness your manic gesturing. Even Jan Van Jauntyhatten is sneering at your pathetic display. So turn your incredibly boxy flashlight off, calm the hell down and call the real authorities.
Edited three hours ago to add:
Um, I'm a bit embarrassed right now and wouldn't blame my readers if they left me at this point. You see, it was just
revealed to me that the night guard was not freaking out over stolen art. Yes, a painting was there, but it's out on loan to a museum in Springfield. What led to our hero's apoplectic fit was the aesthetically discordant font floating above his head. Damn right it's awful - I say give this man a raise!
Monday, January 12, 2009
Lew and Ed had counted the days leading up to their weekend getaway on the Cahulawassee River. They needed a break from their stifling suburban lives, a chance to just be guys messing around in the wilderness - no girl drama, no homework, no mom telling them to eat with a fork. With the money they had tucked away from their paper routes they were able to rent the most awesome canoe ever - looked like the friggin' jawbone of a giant sea predator! They were having the time of their lives navigating the rapids, tracking wildlife and cooking on an open fire. That is until they heard the unmistakable strum of a banjo in the distance. Hope they brought a crossbow with them - they may need it.