Monday, November 24, 2008

Book Jacket Madness

I've been reading some books by Arnaldur Indriðason, specifically Jar City, Silence of the Grave, and Voices. All three have similar covers, with a man walking or running away from the viewer, into a landscape of some kind. They're moody, and the guy is wearing a detective-esque trenchcoat, flapping around his thighs. The jacket designer, intriguingly-named David Baldeosingh Rotstein, has done (I think) a decent job.

Looking at the credits for the jacket design of Voices, I find evidence of a kind of excessive cut-and-paste that has me reaching for my X-Acto knife and glue stick in sympathy. The credits, after acknowledging Mr. Rotstein's jacket design, devolve into madness:

Jacket photograph of hallway and door © Michael Trevillion/Trevillion Images

Jacket photograph of street scene © Chad Ehlers/Jupiter Images

Jacket photograph of running man © Robert Whitman/Jupiter Images

Jacket photograph of legs of running man © Image Source/Jupiter Images

I think it was the legs--taken from their native body and sutured onto a foreign torso--that gave me the creeps, reminding me of the freakish toy creations of serial-killer-in-the-making Sid Phillips in the movie Toy Story.

Was the man burked before being dismembered? Was he quartered as a regicide? Is Mr. Rotstein a kind of graphic designer-y Dr. Frankenstein?

Moreover, and completely unrelated, why do I find high dynamic range photos often so unpleasant and jarring?

Finally, what is the use of this particular post?