On the left we have Jan Bruegel the Elder’s (Flemish, 1568–1625) A Woodland with Travelers (detail). On the right is a design by John Gall, art director at Vintage.
There are many details in the Bruegel painting, which Edward Mullany and I recently found in the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. The Gall cover provides an immediate effect, disembodiment being one of the first things to come to mind-craziness, a person out of their head. In terms of story, this cover is much more related to the book wherein a group of psychologists gather at a pancake restaurant and kvetch as the main character experiences a unique episode of floating to the ceiling. It’s pop, it’s simple, it seems the better choice, but is it?
“Gall says that one of the most challenging tasks is to take a beautiful cover and redesign it so that the book can sell. One example is The Verificationist written by Donald Antrim.” – from a Carnegie Mellon lecture