Friday, October 15, 2010

Cover Critique: God Emperor of Dune

Let me preface this post by saying that my design critiques of these covers are in no way, shape or form a reflection on the author, the content or the publisher. I know the authors have very little, if any, control over the design. These are strictly my thoughts stemming from my design experience.

WARNING: Today's post contains mature content.

Words fail me. I'm trying extremely hard to look at this cover objectively from a nice, professional, graphic design point of view. I'm trying to see a giant snake. Or a worm. But I'm failing miserably. I'm sorry to be crude, but all I can see is a giant wang. I challenge anyone to look at this cover and not have their mind take a spectacularly steep dive straight into the gutter. I know all of you took one look at this cover before you started reading and went "why is she featuring a penis on her blog today?"

Let's take a closer look at our serpent-wang here shall we? First, the designer could easily have made his head circular in shape, or even utilized a nice oval, but no, he/she decided to go with the not-so-subtly phallic mushroom-capped tip. Whuh? Then, to make things extra special he/she made it flesh-colored. This is "the bestselling SF adventure of all time" people! The creature's head could have been gray, blue, green, purple, or any color under the sun. But no, thanks to an incomprehensible use of color, his tip is a lovely orangey-pink. Brilliant. If the shape weren't disconcerting enough, we are given an extra visual treat with an eerily stoic face superimposed right there in the middle of all that fleshy goodness. I'm going to have nightmares now, I know it. I'm going to be forever imagining creepy faces on the tips of male parts everywhere. My life is ruined. Take me to the convent because I can't process monstrous fictional snake wieners that can both look at and presumably speak to me.

Okay, now that we've all been scarred for life by the God Emperor of Dune, I'd like to examine some other simply fantastic elements. Right in front we have three little people in white. Why are they in the desert flagging down an oversize penis? The first gentleman on the left seems to be enthusiastically declaring there has been a touchdown scored somewhere. Perhaps the penis is a fan of sports? The guy in the middle is all "fancy seeing you here, might I have a ride?" (and now my mind is successfully back in the gutter). The final man on the right looks as though he's ready to collapse, perhaps the serpent-wang can lead him to some water. At least they all thought ahead and wore white out into the desert, bravo mini-men, bravo.

Aside from the the worm and his minute followers, my other favorite element is the presence of one lone palm tree in the middle of this desert setting. Not a whole oasis, but just one or two trees that seem to be growing from our serpent's tail. The whole cover is nicely monochromatic for the most part, comprised of oranges, yellows and browns, but then out of nowhere there's a spot of green. Why are those trees there? They don't add anything to the cover in terms of design, and the penis doesn't look like the type to give anyone a ride to a nice shady area does he? I think not.

This cover actually made me snort the water I was drinking in an attempt to not projectile-spit it all over my computer screen. I just cannot fathom how this passed from person to person during the approval process and no one thought "Hm. I see a schlong, how about you?"

I'm not alone in this right? You see it too? Right?


  1. My husband, and I, got a kick out of this one.

  2. No. No! Just... No. HAHAHA
    Yep, this is definitely straight up dong, no doubt about it.
    Thank you for this giggle-fest, I needed it!

  3. LMAO!!!!!! Oh man, it's a total scholng.

  4. "I'm going to be forever imagining creepy faces on the tips of male parts everywhere"
    LOL! I agree, I don't know how this got through the approval process. Truly ridiculous!

  5. Love it! While I agree it is complete phalac... I can see the worm and the meaning behind it (I'm a HUGE fan of Dune!) When was the original print? 1960s? early '70s? I'm thinking drugs were involved when this was made! LOL

  6. This is so wrong on so many levels. lmao

  7. It was the first thing I thought when I saw it. You are not alone with your perverse visuals!

  8. LMAO. Ohhhh dear... I honestly saw a snake rising up and then the face peering out but now that you pointed it out, it does look rather...wrong. It's probably the weirdest cover I've ever seen o_O

  9. Jennifer - As did mine:)

    Pam - You're welcome, I just had to share!

    Ash - Thank you, I'm glad my mind isn't the only one that went there.

    Aylee - Ridiculous is right, I don't know how they all didn't laugh hysterically while approving it.

    Jen - You may be right on the drugs:)

    Tori - Agreed. That's in part why I love it.

    Nicole - Thank you, I feel better now:)

    Pirate - Good for you seeing the snake first, I unfortunately went straight for something dirty;)

  10. Oh. My. God hahahahahaha you freaking crack me up! This cover is bloody absurd in my honest opinion :)

  11. Oh my gosh! I am laughing so hard right now! That's definitely an "interesting" cover, eh?! LOL!

  12. I love your cover critiques. And I too see the giant penis. hehe

  13. Melissa - I try:) This one was too good to let escape without comment.

    Kelly - Interesting is certainly one word for it:):)

    Danielle - Thank you. I'm glad you enjoy them and that you too see a penis;)

  14. I just laughed so hard. Thank you because I think I needed that.

    This would come as a shock to people who know me, but I actually didn't see it like that when I first looked. I saw a weird serpent like thing with a head (far out, even that sounds phallic). It's only when I read your post and then checked it out that I went Oh. My. Zeus. It's a penis.

    To make it worse the guys in white made me think of sperm (they're wearing white jumpsuits, not just pants and a top). Yeah... I want to read the book now just because of the cover lol.

  15. Thank you so much for making me laugh today! This was awesome!! WHAT were they thinking??? Maybe they were on drugs. :)

  16. *grins* Thank God I wasn't drinking any beverages this time. I would have ruined my laptop. This book shall henceforth be known as The Penis book.

  17. Dutchie - I never even thought of the white men resembling little sperm but you are so right! That makes this cover all the better:)

    Kelli - You're welcome, I enjoy sharing the ridiculousness:)

    Tammy - I was worried about you with this cover, I was hoping you didn't drink anything before taking a look!

  18. Yeah, it's completely weird. I love the book though.

  19. Gah! I followed your tag, Cover Critique, because today was the first time I had seen this feature of yours, and I wanted to check out more.

    Now I'm scarred for life too! Still, I just about died laughing.

  20. P.S.

    You think yourself crude for saying wang? Oh, how I could learn a thing or two from you! ;)

  21. Lol I was thinking it looked like something a sicko would shove inside their anus or like a grey flexible carrot type sex toy thingy. But now I see your completely right.