Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Series of Fortunate Events

When I was a kid I was walking around my elementary school book fair and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a book named The Bad Beginning; here I fell in love with the book series called, A Series of Unfortunate Events by: Lemony Snicket. But what actually drew me to the book was not the title or the interesting pen name (although those ended up becoming reasons as well) but the cover illustration done by Brett Helquist.
Looking at it when I was a child I responded to the dark colors in the foreground and the sharp edges of the buildings in the back. And embarrassingly I will admit another draw was the small resemblance between the character Klaus Baudelaire and Harry Potter. Now looking at it as an adult that has gone a few years to art school I still love looking at the piece. Helquist put so much detail into the drawing that sometimes you do not even notice it at first glance.


  1. I really like those covers too (in fact, I was thinking about putting a couple in the sketchbook for this class). Stylistically speaking, I think this illustrator's work is a perfect fit for the series.

  2. I remember when I first saw this cover too. I worked in the childrens section at a library and I was so used to seeing the average bright and happy children's book cover. The style and colors to this one where so different that I had to pick it up and read it.

    Naturally, the way the characters on the cover are portrayed tell the overall story. But, what I find even more interesting is how Helquist uses color to push the narrative even more. The children are crossing the threshold from a bright outdoor scene into the dark house were they will live miserable lives.