Friday Faceoff – Something wicked this way comes… #Brainfluffbookblog


This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This meme is currently being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog and the subject this week featuring on any of our covers is HALLOWEEN, so I’ve selected Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.


This edition was produced by Simon Schuster in October 2017. It certainly catches the eye and makes the fabulous title the attention-grabber. The bold graphics and bright red background is designed to look like the carnival posters of yesteryear and is also relying on the fame and respect this amazing book has garnered. While I love it, there isn’t much here that shouts HALLOWEEN…


Published in June 1999 by William Morrow, I love the conceit behind this cover – that of a headless carousel horse with unspeakable things emerging from the severed neck – and the skull floating above the mayhem. However, they then go and ruin it by slapping one of those award blobs right in the middle of the artwork which ruins it. It’s a real shame, as they also went to the trouble of producing a cracking font, too. The only snag is that this design doesn’t work as a thumbnail.


This edition, published by Gollancz in August 2008, is both simple and eye-catching. The lurid green works well against the black, with the back of the ringmaster matching the lettering. It works well as in thumbnail and again, effectively trades on the fame of this book by paring down the design. I really like this one – it’s my favourite.


Produced by Bookspan in January 2001, this is also an intriguing cover. The wafting title rising from the paved ground like an evil spell works really well, while dark closes in, threatening and full of unknown terrors… This is a cracking cover that looks awesome full-sized, but the title shrinks to something indecipherable in thumbnail. It is so nearly my favourite…


This edition, published by Gollancz in March 2006 for the Fantasy Masterworks series is fabulous. I love that threatening sky… the bolt of lightning… that long road stretching onwards towards the something wicked. And then they make the title as small and insignificant as they possibly can – even the textbox announcing this is a Fantasy Masterworks book is punchier than the actual title! What is the point of a book cover where the title is all but invisible? But never mind about me and my rantings – which one is your favourite cover?

36 responses »

  1. I love that we picked the same book! And you have mostly different covers than I do. I absolutley love the last cover, I didn’t even see this one when I was looking😁

  2. That last cover is rather spectacular – and, I very nearly used this book too – that would have been funny! But, I knew I’d used it in the past. My favourite is always the black and green cover – I don’t know why, I just love it. And this book always gives me Harry Potter vibes now – the opening scene with the choir singing ‘something wicked this way comes’.
    Love it
    Lynn 😀

  3. The first one is very carnival-y, but it doesn’t look creepy (I’m assuming from the others that the book is creepy?). The Bookspan one is a nice idea, but very hard to read, and like you said, especially bad for a thumbnail. I agree the green and black one is a great one!

    • Yes – I suppose it is horror… I went through a period in my teens when I could handle quite a lot of that stuff. I can’t now. But it is really creepy. And the Gollancz is very well done, isn’t it?

  4. I haven’t read this Bradbury book, but it’s one of my all time favorite titles. I love the variety of covers! I think my favorite is the second to last. It’s so detailed.

  5. I saw the Bookspan cover on another post yesterday, and found it very intriguing (and delightfully scary), but the Gollancz cover is a serious contender, what with the darker colors and that lone figure on the deserted road, with lightning in the distance…. You can almost hear the ominous music in the background! 🙂

    • And I LOVE the Gollancz cover – Himself announced it was his absolute favourite. But since I started self publishing I’ve become a bit more fixated on the REASON for a cover – which is to inform and entice a prospective reader. Given the title is all but invisible, I think this one doesn’t do the job it’s designed to do. But that’s me being ultra picky!

  6. Aaaah, I must go with the last two. The last, despite the title, for that shot of the lightning rod salesman is one of my favorite moments from the film–the actor peeks over his shoulder, and there’s a glorious storm effect in the sky. It’s beautifully written in the book, too.

    But I love the 4th the most because it reminds me of the Dust Witch’s balloon, one of the most terrifying elements of the book. 🙂

      • It is! It’s one of those rare books that I love hearing out loud. I think next year I’ll bring the book back in October just to study Bradbury’s amazing use of compound words in the prose. And the story’s a thrill, of course. It’s a crawler-under-the-skin, it is. 🙂

      • Oh, I’m rare to enjoy an audio book, either. This book is one I actually like to read out loud–there’s something about seeing those word AND hearing them. 🙂

  7. I really love the first one – it makes me think of a wicked circus – but the two last ones also caught my eyes.
    I love the creative way to incorporate the title lettering into the actual image in the Bookspan one, and the last one has a really eye-catching graphics. And why I agree with you on the cruel treatment of the title there, I can understand why the publisher did it. in a series like “Fantasy Masterworks” it’s the name of the author that will catch the attention, not the title. Nowadays you can often see it in thriller books: the well-established ones will have their name take most space on the cover while the title and graphic elements only serve to differentiate it from all other books by the author. In a way, I guess, it’s successful branding where you’re selling the author, not the particular book. 😉

    • Oh yes – you’ve nailed the marketing reason as to why the title is so small. And he is an amazing writer who has stood the test of time. For what it’s worth, you’re right – they are both fabulous covers:))

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