Monday, January 6, 2014

Al Capp Biography Dust Jacket

 My design version #1 dust jacket

 My design version #2 dust jacket

Published version dust jacket

Denis Kitchen and Michael Schumacher researched and wrote a very in-depth biography of Lil' Abner cartoonist, Al Capp. The book has won awards and received great critical praise. It's not a sugar coated version of his life story, but rather a dirty and gritty expose of a man who in spite of his success, remained bitter and resentful. How after achieving fame, he chose to use his celebrity to manipulate and take advantage of people. Let's just say, it ain't pretty.

Denis asked me, if I'd like to take a run at designing the dust jacket to the book. In version #1 of the dust jacket, I placed Al Capp within the setting of his comic strip. I think it's pretty obvious as he leers at Daisy Mae, what's on his mind. Lil' Abner peeks in, and doesn't seem real pleased at what's going on. This visual imagery, is foreshadowing to what can be found inside the pages of the book.  

On version #2, I placed a dirty stained beat-up picture of Al Capp on top of a Sunday newspaper page of the Lil' Abner strip. I liked that the image wasn't a smiling happy glossy pristine photo. The picture has seen better days, and seems to elude to the darkside of Al Capp. I added the cigarette smoke to give it an illusion of dimension.

The bottom image, is a design of the dust jacket, that was done in-house at the publisher. This is the one they ended up going with, and what you will find on the book.


  1. they should have gone with yours...version 1 is best.

  2. Thanks wentworth! I want to be careful when showing my designs, verses what was actually printed. The intent is not to "throw anyone under the bus," but it is to show that there are different levels of taste. I think it is interesting to compare and contrast and see different interpretations to design problems. No right or wrong, just different!