Sometimes you wonder what they were thinking

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The image above is the cover to George Saunders’ 2001 book, Pastoralia, as published in the UK by Bloomsbury. This image is a little on the yellow side, but it’ll do.

A little digging brought up the source of the artwork: art by Walter Popp for the June 1952 issue of Fantastic Adventures magazine. You can see how clumsily the magazine’s logo was adapted into the book title, and how removing the man and the woman’s firearm have left her with awkwardly positioned hands. I am sorry to see the bat-creatures vanish; perhaps someone could asked Mr. Saunders to rewrite the book a little. More books should have giant bat-creatures in them, don’t you think?:

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My question is: why? I suppose it’s cheaper than paying an artist for new work, and, as Popp was long dead, there may have been no royalties to pay. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, what about alteration?

(Thanks to my brother Robert for tipping me off to this.)

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