Friday, August 2, 2013

Caption Contest winners; book covers—good, bad, & ugly

The entries this time were particularly clever and funny, especially for the penguin/bagpiper duo. The voting was close. But without further ballyhoo, here are the winners, who will receive a copy of The Rejection Collection: Cartoons You Never Saw, and Never Will See, in The New Yorker
Winner: Thought bubble: "Betty's in a dress! Either she's running for public office, or she still has 'Stairway to Heaven' tattooed on her upper thighs." (Gioconda). Runner up: "Heels in the sand? Baby, you have no idea what I am capable of." (Dakota92)
Tie: "If I had felt that icy updraft, I would be making that sound too." (Dakota 92) / "Percival Penguin had long believed that a life spent trapped in a vast, barren land of nothing but ice and snow surely must be punishment enough for whatever cosmic wrongs he had unconsciously committed. Alas, he was wrong." (Janet)
Winner: "I found him down by the docks. Can I keep him?" (RPS). Runner up: Amelia had mastered the poker face, but one look at Timmy and the jig was up.  (Dakota 92)
Congratulations to the victors, and thanks for making us laugh! Please be so good as to send your name, address, and choice of Rejection Collection volume (1 or 2) to

Anna K as chick lit?
"A crowdsourced collection of original cover art for some of the greatest works of literature in the public domain," the Recovering the Classics project exhibits a few worthy covers I wouldn't mind having on a print or e-book (see below)—and a whole lot of duds.  As reported in Shelf Awareness:
DailyLit was making plans to put out new electronic editions of several public domain works of literature. But Jennifer 8. Lee, co-founder of DailyLit's parent company, Plympton, wanted these e-books to stand out from other versions of the same titles--and, she explained, "I didn't want to use auto-generated covers." So she got in touch with the Creative Action Network, and together they worked out the concept behind Recovering the Classics. Artists and designers can submit their covers for any of the 50 books in the initial roster, from Don Quixote to Ulysses; if a reader purchases an e-book or print-on-demand trade paperback featuring their cover, the illustrator gets 40% of the revenue from the sale.
Viewing the earnest efforts on the Recovering the Classics website makes you appreciate all the more the artistry and thought that goes into a good cover design! As in these genuine classics by Edward Gorey.


  1. Love the edward gorey covers! Not sure if I like all the redesigned covers. This Side of Paradise looks like and ad for Mad Men. Dracula kind of looks like a duck. Pride and Prejudice is very pretty.

  2. Love the Sherlock Holmes. Granted, the font suggests that Sherlock might be wearing a ten-gallon hat instead of a deerstalker, but I still think it's clever.


    You made for a hilarious post.
    I, of course, was banned from competing--the first time in 5,000 years that someone thought of Anonymous before he opened his mouth!

    Yes, I had one. After a lifetime of pithy aphorisms, it's automatic.

    For the Scotsman: "A little more lost than usual. Angus finally agreed with his wife that he should stop and ask for directions."

    I feel better now, thank you.

  4. Interesting layout – I don't really like the first four examples in each section... but the last two in each are outstanding.

    p.s. An alternate question might be: which well-known book would best be illustrated by using the photo of the bagpiper/penguin on its cover?

    1. The instant I pressed the 'Publish' button I answered my own question: Pride and Prejudice.

    2. "The Sound and the Fury"

      "One Sings, the Other Doesn't"

    3. Oh dear, I know the contest was a little rough on bagpipes, but we never meant to denigrate the Scottish people, and I'm sorry if you were bothered by the good-humored teasing.

      Did I hear you right, RPS?

    4. Your question would make for a great post in future (using other photos!)

  5. I'm still snickering at the "Little Women" cover featuring dresses, shoes and handbags. Apparently, it was submitted by an actual marketing firm. I hope to heaven they spend more time getting to know their clients than they apparently spent with Meg & Jo, or their company isn't long for this world.

    1. Yes, so many of them were snicker-worthy! As in reducto ad absurdum!

  6. One of those covers is totally baffling--The Three Musketeers as three pairs of dots. But the Frankenstein cover here is not bad.