The Friday Face-Off: At the end of every light, is a tunnel of darkness.


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. Check out Lynn’s-Books for upcoming themes!


Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett


Welcome to the Friday Face-Off!

Having racked my brain for even a hint of tunnel, hole, burrow or mine, it became abundantly clear that this week’s Face-Off was not going to be easy! Luckily I had just finished Going Postal by Terry Pratchett, and you can always count on the myriad of Discworld novels to display one, if not several, of the weekly themes. Enter Raising Steam.

This week we are comparing two very similar covers of Raising Steam, illustrated by artist Paul Kidby; one published by Doubleday in 2013 and the other published by Corgi in 2014. Take a look and see which one is your favourite!


Doubleday | Cover #1

Cover art by Paul Kidby

Corgi | Cover #2

Cover art by Paul Kidby


| The Friday Face-Off: Winner |

While similar in overall style, colour and type, the illustration of these two covers is distinctly different; with the Doubleday cover emphasising a feeling of chaos and speed and the Corgi cover creating a strong focal point as the train emerges triumphant from a plume of steam.

I love the feeling of movement on the Doubleday cover, from the the winding train and the flying axes to the varied and distorted facial expressions of the passengers. This is a cover that delights in emphasising movement. As evocative as this is, however, I find that my eyes can’t quite focus and it loses some of the refinement where the lines have been blurred.

By comparison, the train in the Corgi cover has a powerful presence – lights streaming in the dark, steam rising, a dark and rugged stone wall dominating the backdrop as the train speeds ahead. The composition and darker contrast present in this cover are also much more appealing which is why, despite being a close run thing, it is this week’s winner!

‘Raising Steam’ by Paul Kidby – 2014, Acrylic on Board

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:

Just as it seems.

A cover featuring a person holding an object.

Remember to check Lynn’s Books for upcoming themes


| Links |

Lynn @ Lynn’s Books

Mogsy @ The Bibliosanctum

Steve @ Books and Beyond Reviews

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

Sarah @ Brainfluff

Brittany @ Perfectly Tolerable

Natasha @ Natrosette

Kristi @ Confessions of a YA Reader

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13 thoughts on “The Friday Face-Off: At the end of every light, is a tunnel of darkness.

    1. Me too! It wasn’t an easy week!

      I keep trying to reply to your Face-Off post by the way but it keeps popping an error up! Apologies if they all flood you at once! πŸ˜‚

      Like

  1. Nice post! I like Paul Kidby’s art, too. Have you ever seen any of Josh Kirby’s art for the early Pratchett books? I loved those covers but I didn’t hold on to them, unfortunately. He passed away in 2001, sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! πŸ˜€ Oh I love the Josh Kirby covers! They were actually what I had in mind when I went searching for a tunnel… because there’s bound to be one in there somewhere! You can find some great images online of the full cover spreads too. I’m fairly certain I even used one in a Face-Off of the past.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the internet is great for that, isn’t itπŸ™‚ The isfdb site has a great option where you can view all the different cover art for most books. I wish I still had a physical copy with Kirby’s cover art but what can you do. I’ll try to pick up one second-hand.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d go with the Corgi cover too. I attracts me more than the Doubleday one. I think that’s because the dark background easily makes the figure stand out. At the same time, I like the sense of speed in the Doubleday cover.

    Liked by 1 person

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