The Subtle Genius of Elena Ferrante’s Bad Book Covers by Emily Harnett [The Atlantic] With their sandy beaches and windswept women, the U.S. editions of Elena Ferrante’s novels look familiar even if you’ve never seen them. That’s because they look like virtually every other book authored by a woman these days—not to mention like bridal magazines, beach-resort brochures, and even “Viagra ads.” On Twitter and beyond, readers have described Ferrante’s covers as “horrible,” “atrocious,” “utterly hideous,” and as a “disservice” to her novels. At Slate, one commenter approvingly mentions a local bookstore’s decision to display one of Ferrante’s books in plain brown paper, reviving a practice used for Playboy and the infamous issue of Vanity Fair with a pregnant Demi Moore on the cover. The implication, of course, isn’t that Ferrante’s covers are obscene in the traditional sense—just obscenely bad. Previously.
The Book Graphics blog collects thousands of gorgeous covers and illustrations, with special emphases on Russian artists, fairy tales, and antiquarian books.
VHS Cover Junkie showcases examples of the now lost art of the home videotape cover. [SLTumbr]
Romance novel covers are a frequent subject of ridicule. But they have also featured highly talented illustrators like Alan Ayers, Pino Daeni, Elaine Gignilliat, Phil Heffernan, and Albert Slark. [more inside]
"Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers.... What we call art is a game."
What If Your Favorite Album Was a Book? Rock classics from from Arcade Fire to Zeppelin, reimagined as book covers. [more inside]
The 50 best (American) comicbook covers of 2010 - as selected by Robot 6 (previously), who also have links to the best of the years best lists (The 5 worst comics of 2010 being a particular favourite.)
Skiffy - a huge collection of classic science fiction book covers, featuring the likes of Chris Foss, Bruce Pennington and John Schoenherr.
The Brave and the Bold...Lost Issues! - in which Batman teams up with everybody.
Good Show Sir - a blog of the worst science fiction and fantasy book covers from the deepest depths of second hand bookstores around the world.
SciFiGuy.ca explores the infinite wonder and beauty of the Urban fantasy book cover (youtube, bad music) (via).
The 25 best comics covers of 2008 - from Robot 6, the new home of the old blog@Newsarama team. [more inside]
Book nerds everywhere will enjoy these scans of cover art from the works of Beat Generation authors William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, and John Clellon Holmes. [more inside]
A huge, comprehensive collection of Italian soundtrack covers. With print runs as small as 300, some of these soundtracks are impossible to find nowadays. Some of the cover art is really fantastic. There's a pretty extensive collection of French, German, American, English and Japanese soundtracks too.
The Scriptorium's American Sheet Music. North Carolina's Duke University maintains a wonderful, sprawling archive of ephemera, as you, chers linkeurs, know well. But perhaps you didn't know of the vast collection of American sheet music, most attractively explored via these cover galleries (viz.), that awaits within.
MagazineArt.org: a free visual database of magazine cover art from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
One hundred established graphic and fine artists were approached to create the definitive album cover of their favorite recording artist. Each chose an iconic musical subject from the 1940s to the present and from the genres of rock, blues, jazz, country and soul music. The result is an original and highly creative collection of contemporary art. The Greatest Album Covers That Never Were.