23 August 2008

Backs, Covers, and Tattoos

Now, when you look closely these covers are not really alike, but obviously a tattoo on the back holds some fascination.

In the first case of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Stieg Larsson which I reviewed a week or two ago, the cover is what I would call "relevant".

But then this morning I came across a review for THE GARGOYLE by Andrew Davidson on Poisoned Fiction Review. Here is the cover.
I'm not clear whether there is a character in this book that really has a tattoo on her back, but I rather think not.

There's been some discussion recently about book covers that, for a better word, "emulate" each other.
There's been quite a vigorous one over on Detectives Beyond Borders, with some authors weighing in, and questions of covers suiting books and copyright being raised.

Peter at DBB wrote his posting after Karen at Euro Crime has discovered yet another case of "look alike" covers.
Karen has been looking at "copycat covers" for quite a while, and I'm grateful to her for another, John Burdett's BANGKOK HAUNTS, to add to my collection of tattoed backs.

And, while we are at it, here is another to add to the collection.

And I guess there are more examples if we looked for them - book covers with tattoed backs on them that is.
And there have certainly been lots of examples flying around this year of look-alike, copy-cat, almost identical, emulative covers.

But I guess for me the issue this raises is much more serious. In my "real job" we are very much concerned with copyright issues particularly where it relates to intellectual property. It seems to me in this imitative covers issue is a clear case of breach of intellectual property. I'm afraid I don't accept the argument of use of a set of "stock" images. But then I'm not a writer or a publisher, so does it really matter to me as a reader?

And here's one to really curdle your stomach!


Joanne ♦ The Book Zombie said...

The first time I saw the cover of Gargoyle I didn't expect any relevance between the story and the tattoo, but a character does indeed have that exact tattoo!

As for stock images - it drives me crazy to see identical covers on different books.

Kerrie said...

I'm glad to hear that! What is the tattoo exactly? The little heart?

Joanne ♦ The Book Zombie said...

The female character has the angel wings tattoo on both shoulders. She also has many other tattoos which have quite a bit to do with the development of her character. It sounds weird but it works really well within the story.


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