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US Cover Reveal!

I was not entirely pleased when Harper Collins let me know they were not going to be using Andy Potts’ cover for Mars Evacuees in the US. I am very, very loyal to that cover, and I could not imagine anything matching its shiny orange perfection. Not to use something so lovely  which is sitting right there seemed just perverse … and it meant I had to go through the terrifying peer-through-your-fingers-what-if-it’s-horrible process yet again.

I was a little relieved when I heard that the artist was going to be Goro Fujita, who’s both an illustrator and an animator — working for Dreamworks among others. His pictures of forlorn, retro-looking robots in oddly contemporary settings  and ability to mingle funny and scary convinced me that maybe it was going to be okay.

It is better than okay. It’s really, really good.

It’s interesting comparing the covers — they reveal things in each other that I wouldn’t otherwise have seen. Against the US cover, I can see a kind of moody grunginess (which I now think might be a very British aesthetic) in the UK cover that wasn’t obvious to me before. It’s in bright, cheerful colours and the B-movie swoop of the title font indicate fun, but the kids are facing us with shoulders squared with an air of subtle challengemix of rough, distressed textures focus more on the battering the kids take in the course of their adventure than on the jokes.

By contrast, the US cover stresses action and comedy. It looks like a Dreamworks film –  (INCIDENTALLY HI DREAMWORKS I THINK THIS WOULD WORK VERY NICELY, CALL ME. ALSO HI PIXAR, HI EVERYONE ELSE, LIVE ACTION IS FINE TOO, HI.) While the kids on the British cover are posed almost like a band — facing us, just a slight air of challenge in their postures — here they’re facing away, in a scene full of motion. Carl on the left and Josephine on the right are poised to react to the spaceships — we don’t know how, but they’re doing something. Alice, in the middle, seems almost hypnotised by the scale of the interplanetary incident unfolding before her. They’re stylised and cartoony enough to look fun, but the colours here are that much darker and the kids are framed on all sides by danger.

So enough chat: here is the cover, and amazingly, I love it as much as the British one — so I have two gorgeous covers for one book. Alyson told me she wanted Alice, Josephine and Carl, AND Earth AND Mars  AND tentacles AND spaceships on the cover, and I told her I thought that sounded really busy and probably impossible, but hey, she was right and I was wrong.


Technically, of course, Morror ships are invisible, (and this is an inherent trait that cannot be switched off), so the scene depicted here could not take place. But it captures the atmosphere of the book beautifully.

Mars Evacueesis out in the US on the 28th of January 2015. It’s out in the UK and the Commonwealth now!


Originally published at Sophia McDougall. You can comment here or there.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 19th, 2014 11:02 am (UTC)
Yes, it would never have occurred to me to call the UK one "quintessentially British" before, but I think it kind of IS, somehow? It's all -- "So glam rock happened, and then we got sent to Mars and really beaten up but it's FINE WE'RE HANDLING IT SHUT UP." Whereas the American one is more straightforwardly "We're going to SPAAAAACE, and it's scary, and everything's huge but WHEEEE." (I don't know if that sounds like I'm mocking. I'm not -- that's a big part of what the book is.)

Ooh, ooh! The UK one is more about survival and resignation and, Christ, even "carrying on" (not just in the face of suffering and danger -- in the face of *weird*). The US one is about anticipation. The characters are looking forward into wide open spaces, scared, but maybe kind of thrilled. The blow hasn't fallen yet. They haven't had to patch up their uniforms with duct tape ... so far. You could do a whole thing about national temperaments and the rise and fall of superpowers right there!

Edited at 2014-06-19 11:06 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )