I’m blogging today to mark the arrival of an advance copy of the UK Candle Man, with a cool and very different cover from the US version.
About a year ago I went into the offices of Egmont UK with a pile of photocopies of the covers of old sixties comic ‘The Witching Hour’. I was trying to suggest ideas for the feel of the book cover, and these creepy old comics kept coming to mind. These are the kind of mags that have a shadowy figure on the front screaming: “MY FACE — WHAT’S HAPPENED TO MY FACE?!” or some such to lure you into peeking inside.
You can see such wonders on this brilliant site:
It was the imagery of these comics that partly inspired me on the road to inventing Candle Man, rich as they are in artworks where tall candles drip and stream wax across the floor of some cobwebbed mansion while two lost children tread innocently up the stairs, to meet… well you can imagine the rest.
The UK cover pleases me because it links Candle Man to its roots in the world of comics – especially the American comics of the sixties. The glowing device trapping our hero on the cover image is the Mercy Tube – and this kind of contraption is straight out of the realm that comics greats Stan Lee and Jack Kirby dreamt up for us in the sixties.
Together and apart, Stan and Jack created such mindblowing notions as the Negative Zone. the Ultimate Nullifier, Ego the Living Planet, The Silver Surfer, the Boom Tube and the Cosmic Cube.
Not to mention the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and Fin Fang Foom!
Oh to be walking in such footsteps.
It’s fun that the designer at Egmont UK, Lee Bruce, after being shown the more old-school horror stuff, took a lateral jump through the comics vortex and brought the Mercy Tube to life in a more Kirby-mungous way.
Anyway, how can you argue with man whose name is such an easy anagram of Bruce Lee?
I don’t suppose it even counts as an anagram.
If you haven’t done so, check out the Candle Man page on this site for the image, and I hope you’ll check out the UK Candle Man when it hits the shops in March. It contains a sneaky extract from book two, in which two innocent kids creep into a graveyard and … well, you’ll find out.
Chilling laughter fades upon the air…