I don't understand why we haven't yet seen an early-seventies mass-market retro paperback cover trend. To wit:
(Click for a larger image.)
I've written here before about my desire to be published in mass-market format--to be, once and for all, fully back-pocketable. But the other part of my love for this format is the work that went into the cover art, back in the MM heyday. In general, I dislike photographs on fiction book covers--indeed, my favorite two of my own book covers (Mailman and the US version of Pieces For The Left Hand) are the only ones with no photos on them, and the most retro in intent. A photograph implants itself in your head; it detracts from the invention your mind has to make when reading. The covers above are interpretive, not representational; they spark the imagination.
Occasionally a new book comes out that seems to follow this aesthetic, one that wears a beard proudly, a beard that is just now beginning to be flecked with gray. The new Lydia Davis collected stories is one--pictures don't do it justice, it's simply a beautiful, beautiful literary artifact.
And of course there is nothing worse than the movie tie-in cover, complete with photos of the actors in dramatic poses, or their photoshopped faces hovering in the air over a burning house, or some such horseshit. "You better check out the movie first," these covers seem to say.
So what do you think, people? Are you with me? As long as we've got the seventies economy, can't we have the book covers, too?