Tear Sheet: If Death Is Respectable


Some pretty cool news as Noirvember ends.

Earlier this week, Altus Press released the latest volume of Race Williams stories. This is the fourth book in the Carroll John Daly series (quite a prolific writer), and the fourth cover to  feature one of my noir photos.

I’ve had a really good relationship with Matt over at Altus. In fact, back in October, he dropped me a note about this new book and it’s cover. I had sent him some options late last summer and he got back to me with about six mock-ups of this cover using different photos.

I don’t want to show them all here as he’ll probably use another shot for a future cover. But he asked me honestly which one I liked the best for this title. This one was #2 in the series he sent me.

I looked at them all and..whew. They all looked great.

I told him I had to sleep on it. And I did. I took about 24 hours to get back to him. And what I wrote him was:

So…to narrow it down…I have a great recollection of the shoot I did for the #1 cover. I do like it. I think it could work here…or a future edition. Clean, gives you room for type [note: important for a book cover design], noirish indeed.
But…my eye keeps going to #2. The protagonist is open, yet guarded. He’s at a window…could be taken out (i.e. filled with lead). But he has his gat in his hand. Ready for action. But also with the Lucky Strike in his hand, it’s like he’s saying “If death is respectable…eh…then I’ll take it. Or (takes a smoke) I’ll give it to you.” Has a little je ne sais quoi to it. 
So, if you’re asking me…I’ll go with #2.
And he went with it.
It’s always exciting to see one of my images on a book cover. I can’t wait to get the hard copy and add it to my library.
But it’s thrilling to see what a designer can do with an image I shot a few years ago (in the garage of my first house, actually) with a whole different story line in my head.
Hope you like it too!

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018

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