Posted in illustration by Mark on the February 10th, 2007

Something I’ve been meaning to do as a little personal project for a while, one of my favourite books British Summertime, by Paul Cornell, I always felt didn’t have a particularly strong cover (his other book Something More, is even worse) so for the hell of it I created a few ideas for the cover.

The book is actually quite short, but covers a huge range of topics, (in a suitably whimsical way that doesn’t clobber you with judgemental preachiness) from religion, capitalism, communism, Britishness, mad cow disease, chipshopness, oh and don’t forget time travel, the RAF, heads on plates and the end of the world.

When I finished my ideas and was showing them a friend, I dug out an image of the original cover as comparison. And appallingly, I discovered the book is being re-released this year with a new cover.

I don’t actively hate the new cover, I’m mostly jealous someone got there before me. It has a quite quirky nice retro feel to it, which does in a way tie in to one of the characters who is WW2 era prim and proper British. Not a fan of the imagery used in it though, would prefer if it had just been the flag (although St George flag for a book titled British seems a bit of a misfire) or at least not the cheesy clock/stars nebula composite image.

That’s where my niceness ends however, as I checked the new publisher it will be released through and the full listing of covers all have this very similar style, a retro throwback, I don’t think its 100% correct for British Summertime, and I doubt even more that it would be appropriate for every single book they are releasing.

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10 replies to 'Summertime'

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  1. crazybjörn said, on February 10th, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    w00t, love the first two covers, and yeah weird coincidence that just as you finish it, you find out that they are releasing a new cover. Unlucky :D

  2. Mark said, on February 10th, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    Hehe thanks, yea I love first two covers too, the last one is a bit obvious and chunky, but I just really like the heavy graphicness of it :)

  3. Matt Cox said, on February 10th, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    I love the first black on yellow one. Mmm.
    You should send it to them anyway.

    I also like your spine-sheen on the covers. ;)

  4. Bat said, on February 10th, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    I think the title is misleading… I mean British? Summertime? There aint no such thing! Global warming will make it even colder then it is now… argh the Humanity! *disappears*

  5. Mark said, on February 10th, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Hehe yea gotta love fake illy effects using grads :D And hmm maybe, not sure where to even approach really, been doing some reading up on cover design and seems generally the publishers hold all power in that area, suppose nothing hurt by some random emailing sometime :)

    Hush Bat :P

  6. Chris Roberson said, on February 12th, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Actually, the cover you’ve found for the MonkeyBrain edition is not the final, but an early draft used for solicitation purposes. The actual cover will differ, perhaps significantly. Conceptually, though, I quite like your approaches.

  7. Mark said, on February 12th, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Yikes the web travels fast I suppose :) And interesting to know, I assumed when it got as far as Amazon it was pretty final, the things you learn eh! Well can’t wait to see what the final one looks like then (or you could always hire me to work up mine ;)

  8. Matt Cox said, on February 13th, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Good reponse. I think Chris should hire Mark.

  9. Bap said, on February 17th, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Still gotta read this. Its on my list from last we spoke and you gave me a list of books I should read :P lol I love the second cover the best just looks nice :)

  10. Matt Cox said, on March 15th, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    Bored now. Update blog please.

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