Sunday, May 9, 2010

the book cover that wasn't

I found this in my iphoto collection yesterday. It was one of the ideas I explored for the cover of 'Before Pearl Harbor. Making the PacificWar'. It is actually worked up from a small photo print sent back from Rabaul by my uncle Bob and it shows his 'section' of B Company (2/22 Battalion AIF) in the jungle of New Britain before the invasion.
What appealed to me in this as a cover was the repetition of shapes; the palm trunks and rifles being vertical, the legs making energetic diagonals echoed in the various angles of slouch in the helmets. I coloured it to be 'hot' and threatening...but moved away from the idea because this book was not about the war at all, it was about it's causes. The image finally chosen was of a parade of New Guinea police for the benefit of, and inspection by, an obviously colonial official.

For the record, none of these boys came back, and neither did my uncles. And neither did another thousand of their Battalion comrades.

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