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The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana


Client:   Harcourt

Added:   December 06, 2007

Updated:   February 15, 2013

Views: 3009


1st: Unused concept.

2nd: Unused concept.
The character in the book has amnesia and can't remember anything he has experienced. All he can recall from the past are things he has read in books, magazines and comics. His name is Giambattista Bodoni. He can't remember who he is and when the doctor tells him his response is "Giambattista Bodoni is a famous typographer". I set the whole cover in Bodoni and took passages from the book that keep popping in his head throughout the story.

3rd: Final cover.

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Nate Salciccioli said on December 12, 2007

They should've picked this one (even though I like the one they did pick).

Alex Camlin said on January 29, 2008

They should have. I have to say that I really don't like what they went with. Seems like the only thing missing from the chosen cover is the kitchen sink. I understand that they were trying to show the breadth of material—both visual and written—in the book, but I prefer Charles's more iconic treatment.

Benjamin Kinzer said on April 07, 2008

Beautiful work Charles. I especially love the guy in the upper corner. Reminds me of Aquaman.

Kellner Design said on April 09, 2008

Both unused? Both!? It's disheartening. "Both used/Couldn't decide which they liked better" makes more sense to me. Seems like the first is something I recall seeing, but I guess my mind is playing tricks. It's a joy to look at, in any case. And the 2nd ought to've been recognized as concept being served up with bravado, and in perfect keeping with the author's brand of post-modernism. Maybe it's me, but I think a book SHOULD be judged by its cover... and why not? Any author should be so lucky as Eco was here. Or ought to've been. As a constant reader, there are few pleasures to compare with having a big book one wants to read, with a cover that, every time one closes it during the long journey, one is made to want to pick it up again and keep reading. Both these treatments offer that, and except for wanting maybe a hint of color, the 2nd is spectacular to my way of thinking. How cool would that be to have this design on one's bedside table?

Eric Pitsenbarger said on October 24, 2008

Beautiful work Charles. A cover I would instantly reach for at Barnes & Knoble. Illustrates the story with such elegant, quixotic choices. I do see why the last concept was chosen enigmatic nod to "The Name of the Rose". There's something of the old illuminated scripture. It's more serious. The type nails it. But wow, I just love this one.

Kellner Design said on May 21, 2010

Okay, yes, I like the final cover. It's good, it's solid, it's nice... But have I told you lately how much I dig that 1st comp? It's just a crying shame this cover's address is the overpopulated City of Lost Comps. Maybe someone ought put a brick through Harcourt's window, huh? Oof. I like the final okay, but heart belongs to the 1st comp. It's a classic.

Charles Brock said on May 21, 2010

Thanks Michael.

Ricardo Cordoba said on December 02, 2011

I like subtlety, so I really love the all-text Bodoni concept. The bits of translucent tape are a great way to represent the idea of memory (and, as Kellner Design said, the author's brand of post-modernism).


Charles Brock said on January 19, 2012

Thanks Ricardo.