And Now… Judging Books By Their Covers

We now present a selection of covers that we judged books by:

In all honesty the title is the selling point.  What if you got someone’s voice mail and heard that phrase emitting from the static? What if you heard Art Bell’s voice emerging from beyond the grave to intone that at 1 a.m. while you were driving down a foggy highway? You’d probably start a snake cult. I did.

This is a great cover but I think the Pocket Books logo up in the top left is a little incongruous. The happy kangaroo is appalled by the blood. The happy kangaroo is not interested in “a sinister mingling of magnolias and the macabre.” The happy kangaroo would be displeased with the locker room sexual assault that occurs within. I think. But the happy kangaroo may have some secrets, man.

I absolutely love how that dude is flipping the fuck out down there in the corner. That is a Kirby-level flip out! That’s Action Comics #1 “Holy shit there’s a guy in tights throwing a car!” flipping out!  Also–“The Big Computer.” I think it would be neat if the pendulum swung back and the super-rich started showing off giant computers as status symbols. Forget miniature and light! Giant bulky art deco computers that take up an entire wing of my estate! And they run entirely on pull-start gas powered engines! That low-cost immigrant labor is in charge of running! The End of Man? More like the Beginning of Awesome!

The title straight up tells you that Perry Mason solves the case. The back of book informs you that “she’s a dish with plenty of this and that and these and those.” Your instinct informs you that photographing the covers for Perry Mason books was probably a pretty great job.

I don’t know a thing about Flash Gordon but I respect a man who can fight in those shorts. The novel is an allegory for male mid-life crisis. On the very first page Flash says “I thought for a moment I was losing jet thrust.” Ming’s Time Trap is not a science fiction death plot- it is in fact the slow decline of a once-virile hero into the quiet desperation of middle age.

I would say the soundtrack for this cover has to be “The Immigrant Song” but honestly that’s my soundtrack for almost everything. This book is flat out awesome as befits a cover with the cowboy slow-motion walking in front of the giant alien wagon. It actually reminds me of that two page spread in “Here Comes Tomorrow” where Silvestri kills it with the X-Men all walking Right Stuff-style in the rain? Take my word for it, it’s amazing.

Shelfbound now invites you to share your own judgements of these covers!
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