The third preview from my upcoming book The Function of The Filth is now available to read over on Mindless Ones dot com. This section deals with the character Tex Porneau, who I position as the Michael Bay of pornography, and with The Filth‘s probing examination of the industrialisation of sexual violence.
Good gyno-communist that I am, I explore the relationship between violence, technology and capital that is intimated in this preview in more detail during the next section of this chapter, so you can look forward (?) to that next week.
For now, I want to take a moment to talk about covers. One of the problems in writing about a series that was so immaculately designed is that it would feel doubly disappointing to package your commentary in an ugly or half-arsed cover. Seriously – even discarded the discarded, Segura designed test images I’ve been cluttering my Filthy Friday posts with are far better than anything I could ever come up with, so how am I supposed to compete?
One option is imitation. I drew these crude concept images in imitation of Carlos Segura’s covers, and borrowed the colour palette from the cover of issue #8 of the comic:
The idea was to pass these on two someone more talented and throw some money at them in the hope that they will be able to make something good out of my terrible designs, and I still have a couple of emails to send in that direction. I’m still undecided as to whether this is the right approach: is it better to have something that blends in with the design of the original comics, or to try and make something distinct but striking in its own right?
Is this my best option? Like I said, I don’t know, but if you have any other suggestions I’m eager to hear them – as with commentary on the text of this book, anything you can say that might help me make it better will be appreciated.
For a wee bonus, here’s an excerpt from Chris Weston’s interview in the (again, otherwise useless) Curing the Postmodern Blues: Reading The Filth in the 21st Century, in which he makes it clear that he would have preferred a different approach to have been taken with the covers:
I’m ambiguous about the cover designs. While they are very “clever” and original, they did nothing to communicate the sordid pleasures or the tone of the material contained within the book itself. If anything, they were too tasteful! Had we gone for something a bit more vulgar, bolder, or humorous (like Banksy’s work), we might have sold a few more copies. But it’s very easy to point these things out in retrospect.
I thought the overall cover design should have been a pastiche of Britain’s lurid tabloid newspaper, The Sun. They could have had salacious headlines trumpeting the content of each issue: “US President Raped By Pirates!”, “Flying Semen Rampage!”, “Death By Umbrella!” Imagine that! But what do I know?
I think Weston’s dead wrong here and that the tension between the frantic internal artwork and clean, spacious exteriors is part of the dynamic of The Filth, but if you want to find out why then I’m afraid you’re going to have to wait to read the finished version of The Function of The Filth…