Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Examining the Cover Art of Library Editions

My favorite library editions feature the cover art from the regular editions. A common misconception about these books is that the cover art is exactly the same as the regular editions. Actually, the cover art consists of line drawings that have been redrawn by someone using the original cover art for reference. The result is a new take on the old cover art. For that reason, I consider the library editions to be very interesting collectible editions.

One type of library edition is the Multi Library Binding. These books feature cover art that mimics the blue multi endpapers, except that the illustrations are not from the blue multi endpapers.

Multi Library Binding

When I first began collecting these books, I thought that the cover art was a copy of the blue multi endpapers. Upon closer inspection, I realized that different book covers were used, and some of them were from the Russell Tandy dust jackets.

Blue Multi Endpapers

Even though the images from the Multi library binding are based on the Tandy and Gillies dust jackets, they were not copied directly from those dust jackets. They were copied exactly from the earlier Cameo Library Binding. The drawings appear to be exact duplicates of the line drawings from the covers of the Cameo library editions.

The center image on the Multi library binding is based on Broken Locket. Compare that image to the image on the Broken Locket Cameo binding and to the original Bill Gillies dust jacket.

Notice that the lines from the Multi edition illustration and the Cameo edition illustration appear to be identical. The library edition cover art appears to be identical to that of the Gillies jacket upon casual inspection, but look very closely. The artist probably traced the Gillies jacket to make both versions have the same proportion, and then filled in the rest as a line drawing. The result is a strikingly similar illustration.


Kelly Robinson said...

Really interesting. A cool niche for the collector.

Anonymous said...

I'd never seen those multi-scene library bindings before; they're quite pretty!