A Guest Feature by Max Booth III
Okay, so, for the longest time I thought it’d be hilarious for the cover to contain a werewolf taking a piss. This presented problems. Would the werewolf be facing the reader, or would his back be turned to us? Somehow, it seemed dishonest if we had him peeing in the opposite direction, so that meant the cover would have to display a werewolf with his hairy disfigured member in his hand and a steady stream of urine heading toward the bottom of the book. Most people, generally, do not want to see some werewolf’s weird dick, but I was absolutely obsessed with this being a real thing.
Turns out Amazon has very strict rules when it comes to werewolf wangs—they don’t like ’em. Unfortunately, most people only buy books from Amazon these days, which meant possibly eliminating most of my readership, so there went that idea.
We returned to the drawing board for a while. I should mention that the “drawing board” is an actual board that I tend to draw mythological genitalia on. It’s not actually related to the rest of this story and I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it.
This novel that I’ve written, Carnivorous Lunar Activities, a good majority of the story takes place in someone’s basement. I modeled this house after the house my grandparents owned when I was a kid. We frequently stayed here, especially in the basement. The exterior and interior layouts are almost identical to what my memory recalls about visiting there. When coming up with new ideas for the front cover, it seemed logical to look up the address on Google Maps and screengrab a photo. My grandparents have since moved, so I have no idea who lives there now, but here’s what the house looks like:
Observant readers will recognize this house from the front cover.
A while back, I found myself browsing random posters for werewolf films, and stumbled across this one for The Howling on pinterest. I am not sure who created it, but they’re super talented.
I took a good hard look at this poster and thought, Ah, yes, but what if the werewolf also loved farting and drinking beer?
Hence the werewolf displayed upon my book’s cover.
The two guys in my book, Ted and Justin, they’re destroying cans of PBR left and right. Hell, if we’re being honest here, Pabst Blue Ribbon really oughta be sponsoring this goddamn thing. No reason we should be offering them free advertisement like this. I tried contacting them a couple weeks ago, but it turns out their office is actually just this abandoned porta-potty in the middle of the woods. Nobody has emptied it in three decades. I left a message but so far nobody’s gotten back to me.
So, I sent my publisher two images: one of my grandparents’ old house, and the poster for The Howling. I suggested we do something similar to The Howling, only instead of the werewolf looking serious and terrifying, we have him look kinda stupid and also chugging a can of beer.
Here is what the artist, Andy Sciazko, originally turned in:
I instantly fell in love. If Andy’s artwork reminds you of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, you aren’t the only one. In fact, Andy also illustrates a series of books inspired by SStTitD titled Nightmare Soup, and I highly recommend you check them out.
My only issue with the art he created for my book had to do with the can of beer in his hand. Due to his style, it wasn’t immediately obvious what kind of object the werewolf’s holding. I suggested he swap the item with a beer bottle instead, which he was happy enough to do.
Perfect, I thought. Then Ashley Detmering, Fangoria’s art director, took Andy’s illustration through Fango’s magic photo wizard and came up with what’s currently the final cover image.
Honestly? I think it’s perfect. More werewolves should chug beer on book covers. You want to make more people read horror? This is what you gotta do. Trust me on this. I’m a professional.
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