Archive Page 2

Mid-week Music Review: Jessie Who?

Rating: *** / 5

After being in NYC for some long, I’m very much out of the loop with regards to the UK and Irish charts. Though, to be honest, I’d sometimes be out of the loop even when I was at home. Yesterday I saw that Jessie J’s album “Who You Are” and had no idea about it. But of course, now I have seen her popping up all over the Internet. So before I get too acquainted with her music, I better do my cover review..

Music is certainly cyclical, and moderately-edgy female pop stars are certainly the current favourite.  The gothic clothes, blunt haircut and dark lips seem to be trying to suggest an independent, hard-edged gal.  But she’s also incredibly airbrushed and has her mouth open in a suggestive manner so clearly she’s also trying to be a sexual sexual. The gold bling looks like she’s trying to be a bit hip-hop. She basically looks like she’s trying to be everything, and often the problem with that is you begin to something like nothing new.

I detest the script face used for the album title. (You may not have noticed it since it blends into her skin)..


Cool Comic Covers (…or are they graphic novels?)

As I promised on Monday, I took some pictures of comics and graphic novels that I think have a really cool aesthetic. I can’t claim to be an expert in the field, I’m choosing these based completely on how they look, so I can’t vouch for the story-lines  I tend to be drawn to the more indie graphic novels than Japanese magna styles, but that’s purely a personal preference. I like the strong, definite lines and block colours, which are often kind of unusual or muted.  Enjoy!

The first was one called Tonoharu by Lars Martinson. I love the beige hardback cover and the little melancholic  face along the spin. The illustrations are all in black and white and are very precise and controlled so I like that the title page has a map on it because the overall style reminds me of the detail-orientated accuracy involved in map making. I like that the narration and speech is all done in an actual typeface, instead of illustrated. I’d never seen that before.

The second one is called The Squirrel Mother by Megan Kelso. Megan Kelso has a brilliant, funky website called Girl Hero that I recommend you check out! I just noticed that the person on this cover looks a little melancholy too, maybe that was just my temperament yesterday! But I love all the little details; the jam sandwich, the weed growing under the stone. It really adds a lot of personality to a very simple cover. I also like how the comic looks like shots from a movie, changing from mid-shot to extreme close-up while keeping the story moving.

If anyone who actually has a good knowledge of graphic novels or comics would like to add any, please comment below!

Monday Movie Review: The Myth of the American Sleepover

Rating: **** / 5

This looks like a pretty cool movie. I presume there will be mainly young, unknown indie actors in this movie since their actual identities haven’t been highlighted in text or in the image. This is another movie poster that would work very well as a book cover, but might look strange as a giant billboard in Times Square.

I like that the designer chose to do an animated poster. I did cheat and check if it is in fact an animated feature, and it’s not. (But I promise I didn’t look at a trailer.) I like the flat color and high contrast, this will almost certainly be a dark comedy about teenage angst and troubles. The typography is quirky, so I guess the script will be too.

I’ve gained a slightly greater knowledge of graphic novels simply from shelving them in the library all the time and taking the occasional sneaky flick through. Though not my book of choice, I really respect the amount of hard work that goes into their creation. I’ll take photos of some cool covers and post them very soon. This poster reminds me a bit of Ghost World and I suspect it’ll have a similar slow, dry wit. Also a must for fans of Daria that have already finished the DVD.

I also bet that because it was shown at SXSW that it is has a very cool soundtrack.

Albums as Book Covers

Check out What if Your Favourite Alnum was a Book on
This must have been a fun project to work on. I wonder will they do the reverse..

Alternative Inception Posters

A lot of these alternative Inception posters seem to be very much inspired by the legendary Saul Bass .. It’s sad how in these types of contests or features, the posters are always so creative, witty and minimal, and usually the actual poster that was used was so cluttered and unoriginal. I would consider the Inception poster to be quite good and it still pales in comparison to most of these..

That said, the scene in the movie where the road begins to fold in on itself did look pretty damn cool!

Books as Furniture

Last week at D-Crit, the wonderful Virginia Heffernan came to give a public lecture. She spoke about many things, but one interesting point she made while discussing the benefits of e-readers is that she believes for years people have confused “bibliophilia” with literacy.  I have to agree. It’s pretty common for people who almost never cook to own a huge number of cookbooks.  Then again, I’m quite divided on this topic..  I feel uncomfortable with the idea of people buying hundreds of books to simply decorate their homes, but never bothering to read any of them. Then again, I believe the publishing industry is important and needs our support. Also, buying books is a pretty cheap and fun way to collect some great design objects.

So I was divided on Abe Book’s list of  30 Old Books Worth Buying For the Cover Alone’. list of books worth buying for their cover. But they all are quite beautiful, and clearly a lot of  people agree because because almost the whole list has been sold.

Surprisingly, even though they’re trying to sell the books based on the beautiful covers, the photography is quite poor quality…

The website also compiled a more contemporary list of books. This one by Emma Wallace for ‘The Separation’ by Christopher  is my favorite. I cannot believe she was allowed by the client to exclude both the author and book title in her design! But the simplicity makes it look so striking that I know I’d pick up a copy in a book shop.

And when you collect enough (or too many!), you can always use them for furniture. These tables are from a book shop in Melbourne (that I somehow never went to even though I lived not far from it!) called Brunswick Bound. If you live nearby, go check it out!

Check out some more ideas for tables made using books on Shelterpop !

Sex, Cars and Rock n Roll: What scores on the New York Times Best Seller List

Wow, it’s certainly quite a male-oriented week on the NY Times Best Seller List , judging by the overs of the #1 fiction and non-fiction anyway. I almost admire the confidence of these covers; they certainly know who their target market is!

Non fiction:

Again we’re seeing this scatchy pattern on the sans serif typography. Poor ol’ Joel Selvin, he is almost camouflaged into the hip, angular red text in the background. And since rockstars aren’t always known for their articulation, I suspect he had his work cut out for him.


“The one with the most toys … dies” Huh? Seriously, you’re using the “….” thing? It tagline sounds like an old Goosebumps book .