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Kavalier & Clay | Unusual Kavalier & Clay

Spolier alert: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is one of my top three favorite books of all time. It’s an absolute masterwork, and it deals heavily with the world of comic books (which, of course, only adds to my love of it.) I own the paperback cover edition (as many people do), designed by the genuinely awesome Henry Sene Yee. I carried that book around with me everywhere. I loved that book. I loved that cover. It was probably the first time that I really looked at a book cover as more than just information. It was gorgeous, and the spine and the back cover just made it even better. As far as I was concerned, this design was practically perfect. Fast-forward many, many years later- and I found myself reading an email from an art director asking me to re-package “The” book. Part of me said, “Leave it alone. Don’t do it.” The other half asked, “How many times in your life do you get the opportunity to redesign a book that you LOVE?” So, perhaps like a fool, I took it on. I suppose that I should be happy with the final cover. Overall, it’s a nice piece. It references all the key elements, and is full of pretty colors… but I have this nagging feeling that, no matter what I would have done, it could never match up to the original. Sometimes nostalgia is more powerful than anything. Hopefully, some comic-loving kid picks up the new edition and has the same experience I did reading it, falling in love with the tale, and then, in 15 years, gets to redesign it all over again ; ) You can see a few rejected covers here.