Oct 19 2008 5:59pm

Tim O’Brien and The Hunger Game

Hunger Game

The awesome Charlie Jane Anders at posted a rave review of The Hunger Games. It reminded me that the cover artist, Tim O’Brien, had an interesting post on packaging the book. He and his wife Elizabeth Parisi, the Scholastic art director, talk about the challenges of getting a cover completed when everyone in the company loves a book but no one is on the same page as to what it should look like. I’ve been there and it isn’t fun.

Tim: “This seems to be an important book for Scholastic and they and she spent quite a bit of effort trying to get it right. Great illustrators were hired to do covers for this book and the versions they came up with were inspired. Still, not everyone was on board yet...”

Elizabeth: “In the end, Tim’s bird was the perfect solution. Ironically, it was my first concept upon reading the manuscript. But I comped up an idea for it using a gold dove pendant as a placeholder, and everyone said it looked too religious.
Even if I had asked Tim to work up that bird at that early stage, I don’t think it would have been approved. It’s as if we had to go through every possible idea before everyone would be happy.”

Eric Braddock
1. EricBraddock
I remember when Tim posted this piece on his blog over on Drawger. It's very different from his norm but you can totally see his hand on quality in the finish. Tim has a knack for coming up with these insane, little vignettes and I am continued to be amazed by his work with each new piece he does. It's funny though how that happens though, I find myself going through the same thing sometimes. Starting a piece, thumbnailing ideas out and after all the labor of new sketches and revising them, I've come back to my original concept, but having the wisdom to approach it with new eyes after going through the process. I guess that's just the nature of working out a solution sometimes.
Jennifer L. Meyer
2. JLMeyer
Thank you, that is very interesting.
I like the very striking image they came up with.

I always find it fascinating how simple looking ideas can be very difficult.
Cassie Ammerman
3. leanoir
I think this is a great cover. Stylized, but still conveying an important theme of the book. And the book itself is fantastic! I can't wait for the next one. I hope the cover is as beautiful.
Eugene Myers
4. ecmyers
That's a great cover for a great book. I had an ARC of this one so I didn't have that image in my mind when I read it, but after the fact, I think it's absolutely perfect. It's simple, striking, and symbolic of the whole story.

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