book cover redesigns for Kurt Vonnegut backlist
There have of course been numerous other designs for the Vonnegut classics, but most of us specifically remember Carin Goldberg’s iconic series design from the late 1980s. Our beat-up copies of Bluebeard, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Breakfast of Champions were all in this packaging. Last week, while browsing around Spoonbill & Sugartown bookstore in Williamsburg, a new series design caught our eye on the table. We didn’t see reissues of many titles, including our personal favorites Bluebeard, and Breakfast of Champions. But we anticipate they are on their way.
The newly released and repackaged Vonnegut backlist nicely coincides with the hardcover release of Look at the Birdie (a previously unpublished short fiction story which was recently reviewed by Dave Eggers for the NYT Sunday Book Review). For the jacket design of Look at the Birdie, designer Lynn Buckley incorporates an original illustration by Vonnegut himself. This kind of collaboration is seen on all of the reissued Dial Press paperbacks.
We recognize the cover illustration on Mother Night from the interior pages of Breakfast of Champions. Please leave a note if you recognize the initial origins of any other cover illustrations. After spending a bit of time online, we didn’t uncover much background information on the new series design. Maybe we have to be patient and hope Faceout Books will get the behind-the-scenes story on this?
And, because we couldn’t help but include it, below are a couple first edition jacket designs. (original jacket design for Slaughterhouse-Five by Paul Bacon, jacket design for Breakfast of Champions by Robert Giusti)