The Mockingjay Seen ‘Round the World
The other day BookRiot did a cool piece that gathered up some of the international covers created for The Hunger Games. As a member of the subsidiary rights department, one of my favorite parts of the job is seeing the way foreign publishers interpret our covers for their markets. Getting to see the way such a blockbuster title is handled across the world, with the covers all conveniently gathered together (thanks, BookRiot!), is a really fascinating peek at the global face of publishing.
Most of the editions put the iconic mockingjay front and center. It’s eye-catching with bold colors, and it’s nice that the design that becomes such a strong symbol in the story is the same image that makes the book itself recognizable to so many.
On the flip side, some of the covers have people on them, anything from silhouettes to close-up faces. The Danish cover is full of darkness and moonlight – and I think I would’ve led me to expect a very different book! This one reminds me more of realistic survival fiction like My Side of the Mountain or The Hatchet (actually I just looked up these covers and they look nothing like the Danish Hunger Games design, so this is clearly a subjective interpretation).
The Russian edition really plays up the romance, with a strangely meek Katniss and unidentified shirtless boy embracing in the rain. This cover is the most surprising for me, since the romance especially in the first book isn’t so straightforward, and everything about this design, to me, has soft edges. Even the font has curlicues!
And then the UK went so far to appeal to both genders that they made a “Katniss” version and a “Peeta” version, with matching girl/boy author blurbs (Stephenie Meyer and Stephen King, respectively).
And for a different look, the German cover makes Katniss look totally predatory while reminding me very much of the classic Lord of the Flies jacket.
BookRiot has some more thoughts on all the images in their article. Which ones are your favorites? Do you think the romance-focused design works? What about the UK’s gender-specific covers? What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of each cover?
– Miriam M