Friday, February 13, 2009

Weekly Geeks!

I also try to be a weekly geek (I mean, I do geek out daily in my own special way) but I never seem to get around to it.

BUT! HA! Better late than never, right? This week we're talking book covers. I'm going to talk about consistency within a series. I'm a big fan of consistency. I like the books on my shelf to match and am not happy when a series changes look half way through. I mean, read my rants here and here about the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series.

And Georgia's where I'm going to start, because I wasn't originally a fan of the new covers. When I started reading, the covers all looked like this:


But, when Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers went to paperback, they changed cover designs. Now the first 4 books (pictured above) look like this:

Now, it's been a few years, and the new covers are starting to grow on me. I like that they incorporate Angus (the cat) on every cover, because he is a big part of every book. I especially like the new cover for Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants, because the romantic shadow on the wall is that of two cats. It's subtle and funny once you read the book (although the old cover, check out the man in the moon--it's two kissing cats!) I miss the old covers, but I do think the new ones will appeal to more teens today. I still, however, insist that those nunga nungas would not knock anyone out.

Despite my fuddy-duddy DON'T CHANGE THE BOOK COVER ways, sometimes it's necessary. I've been reading the Alice books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (expect a big review this weekend or next week.)

Now, Naylor started writing the Alice books in the mid-80s and the series is ongoing. The old covers needed to go. However, they then changed the covers again and the newest ones are fine, but the older ones are still good. Here's the progression for Alice in Rapture, Sort Of.

And! Some of the newer titles/those featuring an older Alice, have totally different covers! (I'm judging entire remakes based on the "Alice" logo, which is consistent across books, but changes when they redesign the overall package)

Now, these two versions of Including Alice are pretty similar, to the point where I think both pictures were taken in the same photoshoot--the model is wearing the same top! But, I think they're both paperbacks...:

There's a bigger difference between these two paperback versions of Alice in April

And a really big difference between these two paperback versions of

The big thing I can see with the newer editions of the Alice books is that each cover seems to look like it's for an older audience than the older cover. I'm wondering why this is. Alice has always been a very controversial series (Alice thinks about sex a lot. Not that she wants to have a lot of it, but just that's she's naturally very curious about this thing that no one talks about.) So, are the publishers trying to push it into older hands by making the covers look older?

Or is it because kids like to read "up"--reading about characters older than they are and books that look older. So are the publishers aging up the covers so that the kids who are Alice's age (she ages a year every 3 books) won't think they're too babyish based on the cover?

Also, some of the covers needed to change. The illustrated version of Alice in Rapture, Sort of needed to go. But the middle one is the right age for Alice. The newer one of the heart in the beach, while technically age ambiguous, makes it feel like it's for a much older reader. The newer version of Simply Alice looks more like how old Alice should be. She's 15 and a sophomore in high school in that book--the older one just looks too young. On the other hand, the newer Alice in April might be too old, as the older one (where you can see her face) looks about the right age.

What are your thoughts?


Becky said...

I like the original Georgia covers. True, it could be because these were the covers that I read (and bought). But the newer ones, well, I don't like the way they picture Angus. Because--and my memory could be a bit faulty--I want to say that in the first book they described Angus as being an orange cat...and on the covers...he's so not. Angus just isn't very angus-ey looking. He doesn't look wild. He doesn't look like he's that much of a character, a mess, a real troublemaker. I mean cats can be very expressive--thinking of tons of lol cats--but this cat on the cover? Not so much.

Jennie said...

Becky--totally. The Angus on the cover is not very Angus-y, but then again, the girl doesn't seem that Georgia-y. BUT I do like the fact that even though they fail, Angus is still ON the cover.

Anonymous said...

Hi, welcome to Geeks and I think you have a sensible quirky sense of humor and this is only my observation from this one post... ahem, where was I? I haven't read these books but... I'm intrigued... I have to go read more. Are you new to Geeks? if not, I apologize for not saying HI sooner and if yes, I apologize for >???????

I wonder what tomorrow's Geek is, pls stop by and remind me to come visit you again?????

Ruth King said...

I love the Georgia Nicholson books and wasn't sure about the new covers at first, but they're starting to grow on me as well.

Becky said...

Good point about Georgia not seeming very Georgia-y either. I guess that is why I like the first set, I can imagine a more awkward girl with the drawings--we don't see her nose or her nunga-nungas. I'm not a cranky-pants about the new covers. It won't keep me from reading the books. And I'm not starting a protest group or anything :) But I just like the other ones slightly better.

It could be as well that I like the earlier books better. I mean except for the last one that we've talked about before. I loved that one. So maybe if I'd loved the other books with newer covers I'd equate them with good things :)