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Book Cover Illustration Idea


This is my entry for this week's theme over at Illustration Friday, "BRIGADE".

Ambrose Bierce did not write a book called "The Lost Brigade", but he sure could have.

Comments (6)


Another good one.

Was the heavy shading on the "t" in "Lost" done to intentionally obscure it? If so, that's pretty clever wordplay on his disappearance & the "book" title.


Very evocative!

John Cox:

Hey T

Yessir. I could see that the shadow play was going to effect the last half of the top words. I decided to let it be slightly hard to read so "brigade" would be emphasized.

Thanks for the kind word. You too, G.


I see another "layer of meaning" that's pretty esoteric--but IMHO pretty sharp (& if not intended, this is the 2nd time in 3 book covers that you've hit on some extremely improbable irony).

I'm talking about the disappearance of Bierce, thought by most to have occurred in Mexico.

The line I was thinking along was "The Lost Brigade" = The brigade was lost → The obscured "t" makes the "Lost" seem lost = wordplay in English → "The Los Brigade" (The Bierce brigade was lost) = wordplay in Spanish. The Spanish grammar isn't right, but being only barely familiar with Spanish, the errors don't register...

...the end result being that it looks like you were going for a grand slam of wordplay.


and here I thought it was the "sword" play......

John Cox:


I've been reading up about Bierce's life, and it is fascinating. He and Twain were contemporaries and shared a cynical, dark humor that still resonates.

And, yes, his disappearance at the age of over 70 is still a mesmerizing mystery. In fact, the Gregory Peck movie, "Old Gringo" (1989), is based on Bierce's adventures south of the border.

The fading type that makes up his name is purely an aesthetic.


John Cox is a painter, cartoonist, and illustrator for hire. For information about purchasing existing work or commissioning new work, contact him by e-mail at john555cox [at] hotmail.com.

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