Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Judging More Books by Their Covers

Several months ago, I made a post about the particularly bizarre and awful book covers of Tutis Publishing.  If you thought that was the limit of the company's hilarious ineptitude, well, you know as little about Tutis as Tutis knows about literature.    
But literature isn't the only area in which Tutis Publishing is fantastically unknowledgeable.  They also have no understanding of history.  For example, Theodore Roosevelt's book about his experiences in the Spanish American War, The Rough Riders:

Fun Fact: Cuba used to be populated primarily by dwarves

Here, we see Teddy Roosevelt depicted as a pantsless Viking.  If you think that's anachronistic, you may be interested in how they depict Stephen Crane's Civil War novel, The Red Badge of Courage:   

Sparta was only fighting for City-State rights!  

I guess they got the "red" part right.  Still, it's surprising how many American history novels don't have anything on the cover relating to American history.  How would Europe feel if this happened to them?    

The Renaissance generally refers to a period between the 14th and 17th centuries in Europe.  I have a feeling that Tutis's cover design department (i.e. a hungover intern who speaks only in riddles) simply confused the words "renaissance" and "revolution."  But really, three down, and they haven't even managed to get on the right continent once.  Could it get any worse?

Holy crap!  Did anyone else know cyborgs fought in World War One!?!?   Based on the coloration, I think this actually takes place on Mars.  Not only did Tutis choose a random anachronistic image, but they set it on the wrong planet!  This makes sense, I guess.  If there's one thing they are as clueless about as literature and history, it's geography.  I'd like to introduce Tutis's new travel program, why not visit the marvelous deserts?

When you're done basking in the hot Illinois sun, why not visit New England's House of Parliament?

But now it's time to play our favorite game!  Tutis word-association!  Let's try to follow the reasoning behind each of these covers:     

A Stradivarius is a kind of violin. Violins and guitars have strings.  Sting sounds like green. A guitar with a green filter!

Airplanes!  Explosions!  Texas!!!!

I'm not sure if there's enough clarity of purpose for this to be racist.

Scarlet is red!

The real treasure is magic bicycles that can ride on water.

A hound is a dog.  Dogs are nice.

I can't really blame them for that last one though, because if there's one thing Tutis is as clueless about as literature and history and geography, it's animals.  There's nothing I can say about these next two:   

Goddamnit Tutis!  That's not a horse; that's a stack of poorly photoshopped books on a poorly photoshopped desk next to one of John Tenniel's illustrations from Alice in Wonderland on an entirely separate background.  That looks nothing like a horse!


  1. OK, I'm just going to say this: I love the Scarlet Letter, but I would love it about a thousand times more if it were set in the colony-domes of Mars, as that cover suggests. Bizarre and irrelevant covers are not enough: they need to rewrite the texts to match the covers.

  2. I couldn't believe these are real, so I did a Google search. I weep for humanity. (But I love this blog. Even my 8-year-old daughter could choose better covers, even without having read the books.)

  3. Hilarious as always, thought to be fair to Tutis, Stradivari did actually make guitars :)

  4. I can't even believe this is real! This makes me feel like I'm living in Wonderland.

  5. Easily the best thing I've read all day. Thank you so much for going to the trouble.

  6. I almost wonder if that "Black Beauty" cover was a rip from Thomas Disch and John T. Sladek's "Black Alice," which DID use a Tenniel Alice illustration on its cover in some editions.

  7. Oh gods yes Bear, the world NEEDS Tutis Cover fanfic.

  8. The beautiful thing about these covers is that any one of them would fit any of the other titles equally well!