Saturday, October 26, 2013

By Its Cover: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

I've already said a lot about the illustrations in these books, but today is the last day I'll be talking about them (probably).

As far as the cover goes, I think they're equally effective. (You didn't see that coming, did you?) I actually really like Helquist's cover (on the right). It illustrates what is probably my favorite story of the whole book. You've probably heard it before in the form of an urban legend. Basically, some kids are talking about how it's dangerous to stand on top of a grave because the inhabitant will reach out, grab you, and pull you in. One girl says she isn't scared, so her friends give her a knife and tell her to go stick it in a grave to prove she stood on one (because going to the cemetery with her and watching her do it would be... well, it wouldn't give us a story, now, would it?) So she goes, she stabs the grave, and turns to leave but she can't because something's holding her back. She's found dead the next day... because she had a heart attack thinking a dead person grabbed her, when really, she had just stabbed the knife through the hem of her dress and into the ground.

I like the creepy nature of the cover on the left, too, and I like Gammell's style in general. Also, Gammell's cover is iconic. You can easily identify that series by that cover. Helquist's on the left would blend in on a shelf (especially one dedicated to children's horror) and not stand out as much.

But, when all is said and done, based entirely on the cover, I like them both pretty equally.

Honestly, I like the grave cover better.  It's creepy and it's scary and it's got just the right amount of macabre in it.  I like when covers actually illustrate what's going on in the book.

The cover on the left still has a certain amount of creepiness to it, but honestly, the pipe in the skull's mouth... just makes me kind of giggle, which I think is kind of the antithesis of what they were going for.

No comments:

Post a Comment