“But when I
the text and
to the jacket,
and the poor
bums me out.”
about the job is the sheer, colourful aspect of the job. I
look at books and they make me happy. But when I think
about the text and its relationship to the
jacket, and the poor suffering author, the
weight of responsibility bums me out.
Sometimes I think all book jackets should
just be type!
AA: You mentioned being pigeonholed as
the pictures guy. Can you talk a little more
about the publishing role you play?
PM: Well, I am really lucky in my job, I
get a lot room to do my job. I know it is not
the case everywhere. I really do feel like
maybe it is time for an Art Director
somewhere to have more of a publishing
role. But a lot of it is our fault, the
designers’ fault, if we’re not at the big
table. I recently got a letter from a 15-year-
old girl who wants to design books, and she
asked what design programmes I could recommend. And I
thought, I could send her to a design school, but that
wouldn’t handle the literacy aspect of the job. We have a
lot of people coming out of design schools with great
eyes, but no idea how to approach reading.
When I read it is full immersion. And when
I read to design, I read to find narrative
weight, elements of structural importance,
and important metaphor. I am not tying to
see stuff–I am not thinking, oh, this
character looks like this and she’s going on
the cover. It’s much more discerning.
AA: I breezed through the book, and
found it a brilliant defence, even a
celebration of the medium of reading.
Was that a goal here?
PM: I did think about the book that way,
but I fought against the idea of coming to
any kind of conclusion, because, who am I?
But if I did come away with a conclusion, it
is that, yes, the reading experience provides
something truly unique, and that the amorphousness of
the imagination is a wonderful thing. ■
Exciting, magical and informative
books for young readers!
TM & © DC Comics. (s14)
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