As I wrote in the introduction to The Maginot Line (and blogged here), we have certain self-imposed rules about our cover designs. Only paper and the written word are allowed.

This wasn’t so bad when making the leaves of The Maginot Line, or the cut-outs of Various Authors, but it was a bit more of a challenge when I came to do the cover for Crying Just Like Anybody, which takes its cue from the title story by Richard Smyth.

I wanted a humanoid figure, but without simply repeating the technique used on Various Authors. At first, I tried out a few silhouettes, but they all looked a bit, well, flat. I made some three-dimensional figures from paper (calling them Alf 1, 2, and 3, for reasons that will make sense if you read Richard’s story, and are familiar with bad 80s television). Again though, they weren’t particularly inspiring. It was also important that the figure be slightly ambiguous.

The idea of using a shadow came from watching The Testament of Dr Mabuse (available in a very nice dual-format edition from Masters of Cinema), in which one character disguises his identity by only appearing as a shadow. Well, if the villain of that film could do it, so could Alf.

So I dug out one of the figures I’d made, and created a quick ‘warehouse’ out of boxes and printouts of Richard Smyth’s story. Job done, and all thanks to Fritz Lang:

Alf - cover star of Crying Just Like Anybody