Another shameless show-off post? Why, yes. Because I love what Tor Books designer, Peter Lutjen, did with this. Carrie Vaughn’s upcoming novel, After the Golden Age, is about an ordinary woman estranged from her super hero parents.
It’s not easy being a superhero’s daughter. The only daughter of Captain Olympus and Spark, the world’s greatest champions, Celia West has no powers of her own, and the most exciting thing she’s ever done is win a silver metal in a high school swim meet. Meanwhile, she’s the favorite hostage of every crime boss and super-villain in Commerce City. She doesn’t have a codename, but if she did, it would probably be Bait Girl, the Captive Wonder.
Celia has worked hard to create a life for herself beyond the shadow of their capes. But when her parents’ arch-enemy, the Destructor, faces justice in the “Trial of the Century,” Celia finds herself sucked back into the more-than-mortal world of Captain Olympus–and forced to confront a secret that she hoped would stay buried forever . . . .
The book is as much a heartfelt family drama as it is a loving tribute to golden age comics. The trick would be playing up the fun comic book elements without reducing the novel to a one-liner. Peter is a great designer when you need something with a warm humor about it.
In this case, I loved all the options but the top row were my favorites. They embraced comic inconography but—cropped and combined with the title—imply a sense of “What’s next, what comes after?” Liking those three equally, I showed all of them to our sales department. I felt sure we had a winner amongst them but I was surprised, and delighted, that they liked the tilted type.
After the Golden Age will be out April 2011.
Irene Gallo is the art director of Tor Books and creative director of Tor.com.