In a new feature on Counter-Print, we're going to be catching up with some of the designers and publishers we feature on the site to ask them about their favourite book covers. First up, we cover both designer and publisher bases with Tony brook from Spin and Unit Editions, who has kindly chosen 'The Tin Drum', designed by Günter Grass.
"I don’t hold with having favourites of anything really. I can, however, offer up one of the many book covers that have meant a lot to me, and that I have found to be particularly affecting and memorable over the years. Published in 1959, hard to believe looking at it, the cover for ‘The Tin Drum’ was designed by Günter Grass, the book's author. A German national, Grass was one of the seminal writers of the 20th century and a very gifted artist. The cover takes the form of a heavy, brutally stylised illustration featuring the demonic Oskar Matzerath, the novel’s protagonist. Thick dense black marks define Oskar’s body, his bright blue arian eyes stare out blindly (no pupils) whilst he relentlessly bashes the living daylights out of his tawdry red tin drum. The cover is in perfect synergy with the novel’s often outrageous content, conjuring up, as it does, this perverse, disturbing, fantastic and fantastical story. Warning the reader about the dark, dingy, strange world they are about to enter. It is to my eyes at least, as challenging, punchy and plain weird, as when I first laid eyes on it."