Something weird and quirky for the cover of LOCUS


On her Facebook page, LOCUS Design Editor Francesca Myman discussed her cover to the June 2015 issue.

The June 2015 Locus cover is a Wunderkammer inspired by James Morrow’s excellent novel, Galápagos Regained – following the exuberant adventures of a fictional Victorian actress named Chloe Bathurst who steals a copy of Darwin’s thesis and sets out to prove or disprove the existence of God, encountering ministers and monsters on her way to the Galápagos Islands. This adventure is, of course, all in the service of earning the young artiste some much-needed cash in the form of prize money from the (spurious) Shelley Society of London for their “Great God Contest”. The creatures she encounters go far beyond the usual tortoises, iguanas, and finches one might expect from that locale…

I wanted to make something weird and quirky enough to honor that text. The objects in the cabinet are both from my personal collection of oddities (including the compass and specimen slides and skull), and from the vast treasure trove of Locus office weirdness. (The tiny violin belonged to Charles N. Brown, who always used to say “Yes, I play a little violin”… and then he would run off into the office to locate the literal tiny violin. This gave him childlike pleasure. It’s the little things in life.) The bronze bug is altered from a spectacular purple beetle image by Magnus Manske, furnished under creative commons license. Part of the wood texture is scanned from Charles’s tables and his Stickley clock.

Rina Weisman will be pleased to hear that the printer tray she gave me served as the basis of the composition, with darker wood textures and frames and such added. 

Read more about Myman’s process on Facebook.