Not the Cover You Would Expect August 13, 2010

Not the Cover You Would Expect

Kurt Westergaard is the Danish cartoonist responsible for this not-at-all-controversial drawing:

His autobiography, Manden Bag Stregen (“The Man Behind the Line”), is coming out this November, but that iconic picture won’t be on the cover. Instead, you’ll see this:

That image is the “farewell drawing in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper when he retired earlier this year.” (The Turbomb comic is inside the pages of the book.)

I mean, I get the decision… If the controversial cartoon graced the cover, no publishing house would want to print the book, and no store would want to carry it.

At the same time, it feels like a cop-out.

Authors don’t usually design the covers of their book, but I’d love to know if Westergaard had any input into that decision.

(via MediaWatchWatch)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • He is more than just that one drawing. All things considered, it was probably the right decision.

  • Pony

    I was just thinking the same thing as Jeff.

    This cover looks like it sums up Kurt’s whole situation. I especially like the Don Quixote/tilting at windmills motif.

  • Hitch

    I think the cover is fine. It really doesn’t matter where the drawing appears. I’m sure if it does appear, there will be more outrage.

    Heck if he writes an auto-biography even without that drawing printed anywhere, there will be outrage. It’s not like it’s sanity we are talking about here.

  • Stan

    I’m more upset at the fact he’s using Papyrus than the choice of cover art.

  • Westergaard has already proven that he has the moral courage to print that image with his name under it—but his publisher may or may not be a different story. Certainly representing the infamous cartoon on the cover would have been a “natural” choice, but, from a strictly design standpoint, it would have also been a lazy, predictable choice.

  • «bønez_brigade»

    Methinks Muhammed is a bomb-hauling ass.

  • Nicole

    Stan beat me to it.

  • muggle

    I hope he did have some input!

    How boring it would have been to just use that same old cartoon as the cover that we’ve already seen dozens of times.

    This one says he’s fresh, he’s clever and he’s not done yet. It’s certainly implying something with the bomb on the ass (cudos! brilliant!) under the Islamic crescent. I’d say he definitely isn’t cowed and I’m much more impressed than I would have been if he had just used the one that made him famous which would have been all too easy a thing to do. This guy is up for a challenge!

    Oh, yeah, and I’ll add that whole tilting at windmills thing isn’t half bad either. I like the cover.

  • Cecilie

    It’s a very symbolic drawing, though. The text in the lower right corner reads: “The Don Quixote of idealism says goodbye and thank you. The Sancho Panza of reality stays – for now.” On the mule, as Westergaard’s loyal companion, is an ink bottle labelled ‘Freedom of speech’ and of course the bomb with the burning fuse.

    As others have said, Kurt Westergaard is more than one drawing; he’s been a newspaper artist for many years and deserves to be recognised for all his contributions to the Danish media, not just his one internationally known comic. I don’t think this is a cop-out, really; it seems fitting that the cover depicts his very last newspaper drawing, and it clearly references the Muhammed drawing while keeping focus on the most important thing – not just criticism of Islam, but freedom of speech, which must accompany all men, heroic or deluded (or maybe, like Don Quixote, both?), if they are to succeed in their endeavour to change the world for the better.

    It’s a good cover, yes. 🙂

  • Kurt Westergaard makes me proud to be danish.

    And I believe I have heard that the bomb-in-turban-drawing is inside the book, even though it is not on the cover.

    Kurt is a tough old cat, not cowed even though there have been attempts on his life, and he has to live his life with bodyguard surrounding him – and I tell you, that is NOT at all common in Denmark, where even our biggest movie stars can walk the streets unafraid.

    I just wish the world would have been less afraid of the flag-burning, rock-tossing ignorants and backed us up more. Even a lot of danish politicians picked the cowards way and bowed to the terrible fear of offending delicate religious feelings. 🙁