Anthony Neil Smith: PSYCHOSOMATIC covered

Here’s an oldie but a goodie. I ran Point Blank Press from 2004 or thereabouts until 2011 or thereabouts. We published some great books by great writers, and I really honed my designer chops during that period (for better or worse, you be the judge). Anthony Neil Smith’s PSYCHOSOMATIC came to me through Al Guthrie, whose TWO-WAY SPLIT was the title that launched Point Blank (and which lead to Al becoming the main commissioning editor). But instead of going through the history of the publishing house and Neil’s book, let’s look at the cover more closely. It is, after all, still available using the same cover design through Down & Out Books.

Now digging through my files for this, I came across a version that features the title …GO TO HELENA HANDBASKET and author Donna Moore on the cover. Being a twisted AND hilarious book, I think I deemed this too dark for that book, and switched it to Neil’s appropriately dark PSYCHOSOMATIC without even sending this version to Donna. Thus this is likely the first time anybody besides myself has seen this version:

Original cover design

Of course this is a bit different from the PSYCHOSOMATIC cover, and not as striking, but it also reveals where the image originated from, albeit in a slightly obscure form. I might as well reveal the two photos that comprise this beginning point, somewhat demystifying my working methods:

Of course then I took the finished mashup into Photoshop and applied various filters into it to achieve the final result. The headshots are of Hollywood stars, but for the life of me I can’t name either one, though the one on the right I immediately recognize… but the transformation from glamorous to disturbing fit Neil’s book, and it still stands as one of the stronger covers I’ve done. I’ve taken a stab or two at revisiting the book and its cover, but the consensus remained for this cover design to live on for another cycle. And I’m totally fine with that.

You can buy the current edition on amazon.

2 thoughts on “Anthony Neil Smith: PSYCHOSOMATIC covered

  1. Oh wow! I think you’re right in that it’s too dark for GTHH, but I would have written a book to fit that cover in a heartbeat, it’s amazing! Fascinating to see how it all comes together. And, of course, it’s perfect for Neil’s book.

    1. Thanks, Donna! Though now I guess I should’ve shown it to you at the time, just so we’d have THAT book too! 🙂

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