Just recently posted online a series of covers that I’ve been working on for Edgar Allan Poe’s “The fall of the house of Usher”. I was surprised at the response it got on Facebook and Instagram where I asked people to vote on what the cover should be. I decided that the final cover will be the public’s choice.
Here is the selected cover:
See the cover poll »
Here is a selection of covers. All of them are works in progress.
One of the reasons that I decided to start illustrating the book is because of how visually stimulating the writing is. The cover for the illustrated edition of “The Fall of the House of Usher” is inspired by the first paragraph of the story:
During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country, and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.
The goals of the cover are:
- Iconic cover: Create a cover in the style of the book illustrations: geometric, iconic images that should inspire rather than tell a full detailed story.
- Contemporary look: To distinguish itself from old covers, and to communicate that this illustrated edition is not a classically illustrated story, but a modern, geometric, graphic edition.
- Thumbnail friendly: Since this will be an ebook to be sold online (eg. Amazon), the image should work at small (as well as medium and large) sizes, be readable, etc.
I lost the first round of cover designs, and it was interesting to see how all the work I had put in the first series of covers, had somehow influenced the second wave. The experiments and trials were in my head even if I couldn’t physically look and reference them.
This made me wonder if I should start from scratch a third time, but then when should I stop? My engineering mind thinks that the better approach is to do A/B testing with the covers and let the public decide. Might try that.
I am working on a portrait of Edgar Allan Poe for an illustrated short story of him. I thought it would be appropriate to end the book with his picture and one of his quotes.
Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.
Some of my favorite quotes focus on the fuzzy boundaries between life and dead, sanity and madness, reality and dream.
Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence.
And my favorite so far,
I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.