As I had mentioned in a previous post about a piece based on the Vonnegut short story "Fortitude," lately I've been interested in playing around with illustrations for various written works. I also recently came across the 50 Watts blog, and the Polish book cover contest in particular. I came across it too late to enter the contest, which took place in 2011, but it looks like it would have been a lot of fun. It got me thinking about what book I would have worked on, had I entered. Who's to say what I really would have done two years ago, but I settled on White Noise by Don DeLillo. One of my favorite novels, I could have taken it a hundred different directions, but chose to keep it fairly simple as I addressed the themes of death, and consumer culture and mass media- television in particular:
Are you old enough to remember seeing "off-the-air" screens on t.v.? It really wasn't that long ago. I was thinking about referencing everything from the black cloud of Nyodene D., to the cage of poisonous snakes that Orest Mercator plans to immerse himself in, to the bottle of Dylar, but finally settled on this. Like I said, I wanted it to be simple, and of course fairly conceptual, because dammit I just can't help myself. An off-the-air screen forming the grimace of the Angel of Death, or Grim Reaper if you prefer. I also tried out various title treatments, but I just fell in love with this one. I wasn't necessarily trying to make it look like a Polish book cover, because let's face it, the contest is long over. And entering contests that ended two years ago is a little sad. But I've been influenced by Polish and Czech design for a long time, so it would have come out in my work whether I was in the contest or not. You can see winning entries to the contest here. Check them out, and read White Noise!
Here's what it might look like in real life:
Stay tuned for more projects based on literary works. I'll be posting a personal series I recently finished on the monosyllabic titles of Chuck Palahniuk: Choke, Rant and Snuff. Same Bat time, same Bat channel.