Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Covers - Covers for Starling and Marquette

I'm still busy trying to get The Man Who Did Too Much done, so this is a short post for Cover Monday: just a look at the thumbnails of the covers for the first three books in the series.

If you remember, I decided to go for a more old fashioned abstract 50's hip kind of look (inspired by Anatomy of a Murder). And this design really seemed suited for Adobe Illustrator -- which I wanted to play with this week.

I also happened to find a shareware font on DaFont which had exactly the look I want. Mostly modern, with just a suggestion of retro cool. Curse Casual is by J.V. Enaguas.

I like this concept for a whole lot of reasons, but one of them is how well it can adapt for a series style, so that's why I played with doing three books all together. (I know the titles and concepts for the next two.)

In the first book, the main victim is shot (and this one still needs a little tweaking on the space between the title and image). In the second: the vic was done in by a fall down the stairs.

The third book will involve "Clean Boot Hunting" (or possibly drag hunting -- haven't made up my mind) - as George volunteers himself as the "fox" in a fox hunt. I really haven't worked out the crime yet, but I'm assuming the body will be found in the woods (so face down in an implied ditch seems good).

Here's where a dilemma kicks up: A cozy mystery about clean boot "fox" hunting suggests all sorts of wonderful ideas for covers. But if you want to go for a consistent series style, you can't just run willy-nilly after opportunities presented by a single book. (However, single books can give you ideas that may adapt well to the others, too.)

One additional thing I like about this cover concept: in The Man Who Did Too Much, Karla, who sees everything though a lens of old movies and TV shows, sometimes describes George as "The Saint" or as "Roger Moore." (To which George responds, "I haven't the grace to be Roger Moore." But Karla assures him, "Movies aren't about reality.")

And The Saint, of course, is really the most famous of those minimalist abstract designs for mysteries of the mid-century.

That little stick figure featured in all the books as well as the movies and TV shows. It was like the Scarlet Pimpernel's seal -- a little signature he would leave on notes for the bad guys, designed to scare the bejabbers out of them.

It's an effective "brand" for the hero inside the book, and it sure was an effective one for the books and TV show, etc. And I think that's part of why something so simple and repetitive attracts me. (When I look at the flavor of the font from the credit card here, I can see why I immediately responded to that Curse Casual font.)

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about my next writing Dare effort, via A Round of Words in 80 Days, an organized dare which is on-going, and more flexible than NanoWriMo.

See you in the funny papers.

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