Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Should We Call This “High Concept?”

(Click to open an enlargement)

Somebody, somewhere, someday really has to write this book, if only so they can use the artwork featured above. It’s the creation of New Jersey freelance illustrator Rob Kelly, about whom I have written before on this page. In addition to his commercial assignments (many of them for Time Out New York), Kelly has created a series of posters promoting old monster movies, a companion series of what he calls “monster PSAs,” and spec covers for crime, mystery, and thriller paperbacks.

Dope Doll might be his best mock-up paperback cover yet, even though the entrancing woman at the center of things looks less drugged-out than she does delighted to be caught in the buff. And Kelly concedes that it “is more of a ‘drug book’ than a mystery/thriller, but that’s okay--sometimes sex and drugs are enough!” I couldn’t agree more.

Why isn’t Kelly’s art all over real paperbacks? Let’s face it, in a world where copycat covers and unimaginative book jackets predominate (how many more fronts with shadowy figures does the world really need, guys?), we could sure use his creativity in the book design department.

9 comments:

bish8 said...

I love this guys stuff. Anybody mount e-books on the Kindle platform or elsewhere should be having Rob create their covers . . .

Bill Crider said...

Well, the actual cover for Steve Harragan's DOPE DOLL ain't bad.

rob! said...

I agree with everything you've said, JKP!

Chris Rhatigan said...

Amen. That's an original and provocative cover.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Hey, Bill:

The only cover I see for Harragan's DOPE DOLL comes from a 1951 paperback that combined that novel with Harragan's THE BIGAMY KISS. See it here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hangfirebooks/3191112909/

Is there another cover I haven't spotted yet?

Cheers,
Jeff

Thrills Blog said...

Of his spec covers, I like Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye the best. Kelly is a very talented artist.

Naomi Johnson said...

This cover would sell a bunch of books.

rob! said...

Thanks for the nice comments everyone!

Bill--Just to be clear, when I do these covers I'm not suggesting I can do a better job than the original; its really that I come up with an image and then just try and find a title and tagline to match it.

When I started doing them, I just sort of liked using real titles instead of trying to come up with my own; and with some exceptions I just kept going in that vein. But they're not meant as comments on the originals. I love all that stuff!

David Cranmer said...

Excellent art!