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Is it just me, or are horror covers more effective when they’re basically wordless? EC and DC and Charlton got it, but Marvel never did, with its protagonists/victims standing around uselessly pointing out the obvious: “Oh no! We’re trapped with… the Thing that walks!” “Uh, honey, I think it’s more of a Thing that shambles!”
… and since this is our first, sadder Hallowe’en without the macabre Bernie Wrightson (1948-2017) to inspire us, let’s have one more shot, shall we?
Interestingly, BW’s signature (at bottom, on the spine of a book in the centre) is reversed, which makes one wonder whether the image was flipped before dialogue was added. On the other hand, perhaps it made for better arcane lettering for a dusty grimoire.
I think you have a perfectly valid horror cover thesis there. It’s the old movie director maxim – “don’t tell them something if you can simply *show* it to them.
And better yet, “don’t show them something if you can *imply* it”. The wise Val Lewton approach. I’m sure there are plenty of marketing adages that push in exactly the opposite direction… but fuck ’em, it’s art we care about here, not commerce.
For every wise proverb, you can pretty much find another prescribing the reverse. Like “Never judge a book by its cover” vs “Clothes make the man”, or “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” vs “Better safe than sorry”.