The Friday Face-Off: A Little Soil to Make it Grow


Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme here at Books by Proxy. Join me every Friday as I pit cover against cover, and publisher against publisher, to find the best artwork in our literary universe


Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off where this week we’re comparing covers that feature seeds or spores.

The first book which sprang to mind as a near perfect example of this week’s theme was Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, and luckily it has the artwork to back it up! The two covers selected for this comparison are the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition with artwork by Eric Nyquist, and the Destino edition with artwork by Pablo Delcán. Take a look and see which one is your favourite!


Farrar, Straus and Giroux | Cover #1

Cover Art by Eric Nyquist

Destino | Cover #2

Cover Art by Pablo Delcán


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

I absolutely love the Eric Nyquist covers for The Southern Reach Trilogy, they’re eye-catching and blend simplistic, bold type with detailed and fluid forms. I love the refined use of colour, the twist of the plant as it spears its way through the title, and the split text to form a central block which immediately draws the eye. This cover is the most successful in overall composition, with type and artistic detail working together to create an outstanding cover. And it almost won. Almost.

The Pablo Delcán cover is strange and abstract, using naturalist illustrations to create beautiful and alien plant-life which seemingly spreads and grows across the page. The coloured illustration is made bold by the stark black backdrop, making it reminiscent of an old oil painting, and it’s easy to become lost in the detail which flows out from the centre of the image. The typography is a little bland and uninteresting, especially when compared to the Nyquist cover, but I love Delcán’s artwork so much that this week’s winner is Cover #2.

Which cover wins your vote this week? Have a cover of your own? – Post the link below!

Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads


Next week’s theme is:

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations

A cover featuring a family

Remember to check The Friday Face-Off Feature Page for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Books and Travelling with Lynn

S. J. Higbee @ Brainfluff

Steve Smith @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

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7 thoughts on “The Friday Face-Off: A Little Soil to Make it Grow

  1. I completely agree with your choice! And once more – what a fabulous book to feature… As you say, all the covers in that series are fantastic in every sense of the word:)).

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  2. I’m with you on this. I like those covers too. They are a little disturbing, but I like the quality of the illustration and, after reading a graphic novel on John James Audubon and seeing some of his paintings, the Delcán covers seem to make a study of the strange lifeforms it portrays.
    The Nyquist covers are cool too.

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  3. Ooh I was just looking at this cover! I think I like cover #1 a smidgen better, but I agree the second one is very unique. And Delcan’s art for the second book is super freaky!

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  4. I love these covers. I came very close to using this but then recalled that I’d used this already for a previous topic so tried to find something different. They really are lovely covers.
    Lynn 😀

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  5. I picked this as well, I’m sure it will be a popular choice today! I do love the Delcan cover, and even though I highlighted it as well, I didn’t see the other two books in the series, which are STUNNING!

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