Yes, yes, that header should have gone with a post about the recent John Cusack-as-E.A. Poe-stickfighting-fisticuffs-movie. Still, it seems an appropriate enough reaction to Penguin’s choice of cover image for their latest Poe compendium:
Edgar Allen Poe: sexy, sexy lead guitarist. If the trend in commercial interior decor continues on its backwards path through time, with speakeasies already last year’s model, this guy’s outfit will be de rigeur at the soon-to-be hottest saloon in town. Perhaps you’re not a fan of beards? Fear not that dread darkness – Penguin’s got you covered:
EEEEEEEEEE! HE’S EVEN MORE FOPPISH AND BROODING! Be still the beating of that hideous heart! I realize times and tastes have changed, but turning Poe into a sexy, mopey pretty boy presumably to to attract younger readers – do his words not carry enough weight? Poe’s already Grand Champion of eerie gothic literature amongst the clove cigarette-smoking crowd; is a hot dude on the cover absolutely necessary to draw in more readers? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pleasant change of pace when an image used out-of-context purely for ogling’s sake is male. But Poe could be as acerbic and funny as he was morbid, and these young men look less like they’re contemplating the rotten depths the human mind can sink to and more like they wish they hadn’t panic-ordered huevos rancheros at brunch.
I couldn’t find any information about the illustrator or editor of this particular edition, which is a shame as I’d love to hear their reasoning for the new covers. It isn’t that the illustrations are ugly- the art certainly looks good, and the flat images here don’t do justice to the pleasing textures that pop seeing the covers in person. Were they attempting to keep up with Twilight’s hunky and mentally abusive male characters? Did they just want a more modern young man to bring the story into the present for new readers? Also, who posed for this and where can I download his album?