Higson Talks U.S. Double or Die Cover

Filed under: Double or Die,Indiana Jones on Dec 10, 2007 at 6:08 pm

The Young Bond Dossier briefly talked to Charlie Higson about what he thought of the new U.S. Double or Die cover art that was recently unveiled.

“When I started working on the Young Bond series I always pictured slightly retro covers with the feel of 30s adventure stories (something like the Indiana Jones posters) with great illustrations. The British publishers (Puffin) were worried though, that the books would look old-fashioned and scare kids off. I was very pleased with the Puffin covers, and still am, but it’s fantastic to see the new American cover of DOD which has all the romance and atmosphere I imagined when writing the books. DOD is a new start for Young Bond in the states and I’m very excited about its release. I never cease to be amazed at just how good Kev Walker’s illustrations are.” – Charlie Higson

And speaking of, the first poster for the new Indiana Jones film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released today. Very cool if you ask me. The guys who design the Indy posters know what they’re doing. I’ve been very off and on on the more recent Bond films. I love the Casino Royale teaser poster with Bond at the table, but I didn’t really care for the one with him standing outside the casino. In my opinion, the best of Bond are the old 60s/70s illustrations, some of the best done by Robert McGinnis (Thunderball being my favorite). They really should get back to that sort of style. GoldenEye was probably the last poster that I actually liked, teaser posters notwithstanding.

If you recall, back in October I made a post talking about cover art for the Young Bond books and my disappointment in the latest paperback cover of Hurricane Gold. It’s not that it’s bad, it just has no atmosphere. As I mentioned (and apparently Higson and I share a similar opinion here) there was an advertisement that struck me as sort of like Indiana Jones that I still believe should have been used instead. It is far more fitting for Hurricane Gold, and for younger males it’s far more attractive in my opinion – the book’s target audience. The colors are great: the sandy browns, the murky greens, and the croc is much better looking. The paperback cover art released for Hurricane Gold (and the UK Double or Die) is just plain and rather boring. It lacks what a James Bond novel is really all about. Adventure. The designers for Indy get it. Kev Walker gets it. Mary GrandPré of Harry Potter fame gets it. I think even Richie Fahey got it. Puffin: they don’t get it. Not in my opinion. A skull? Come on….

What was that line… something about not judging a book by its cover? That part is true, but the cover sure as hell sells the book.

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Comment by zencat

Made Monday, December 10, 2007 at 9:12 pm

The only Young Bond cover that has left me cold was the UK Double or Die skull cover. I’m wondering if maybe that cover was designed to work with any one of the 3 title poll choices. Certainly we are seeing much better international DOD covers that play up the gambling aspect of the book, and now a very excellent US cover that captures the book’s London setting and darkness.

Funny that Charlie would mention Indian Jones posters and then, bingo, we get a new Indy poster a few days later.