Catherine Lacey’s forthcoming novel Nobody is Ever Missing will be out in July. Looking at it from a design standpoint, it’s got something one doesn’t often see for literary fiction: a decidedly stylized, illustrated cover. Though Penguin has gotten noted comics creators and tattoo artists to work on new editions of older novels, it’s more rare to see this treatment given to something new.
It might be telling that the last book I can think of to take this approach for its cover — John Wray’s Lowboy, with an Adrian Tomine cover — shares a publisher with Lacey’s book. Admittedly, there’s a lot that can go wrong with an illustration, from hitting the wrong tone to recalling epic-fantasy excess, but when it’s done right (as I’d argue it is here), the results can be immediately eye-catching.