Saturday, September 6, 2014

Shelf Candy Saturday #127: Dream Brother: A Novel, by Brian Marggraf


Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!!

This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful book covers!
It also provides information,
if available, on their very talented creators!

For more information
about Shelf Candy Saturday,
just click HERE.

Here's my choice for this week!

Dream Brother: A Novel
Paperback, 262 pages
CreateSpace Independent Publishing
January 4, 2014
Art, Literary Fiction, Psychology

Why do I love this cover?

This cover is indeed a most unusual one! I discovered the book, and its author, on Twitter, and was immediately struck by this image. I also like the book's plot, but, as this meme is all about gorgeous book covers, that's what I will concentrate on here.

This image is a photograph of what appear to be haphazardly-strewn small sheets of stickers. The images on these stickers are common cultural symbols and logos, too -- the famous yin/yang symbol, a witch's hat, a star, a little Panda bear, the Nike 'check mark', and even the face of Spiderman.

These sheets of stickers form layers of intricate geometric designs as they casually overlap one another. The colors are bold, striking. The transparent gray bars with the classical title and author's name on them make this a very dynamic cover, as their vertical thrust contrasts sharply with all the opposing, perpendicular angles of the sheets of stickers.

I feel this cover image might be a metaphor  for the confusion and instability in the main character's life, as well. The sheets of stickers are like dreams thrown together, without rhyme or reason. The vertical bars could thus represent the tangible pull of reason, attempting to make sense of the scene.

All in all, this is indeed a very compelling image, and one of sheer genius, as well! The cover designer was the author himself -- Brian Marggraf. He's certainly very talented in graphic design, as well as writing! I'm speculating that he was probably inspired to use stickers seen strewn all over a table. Then he probably decided to move them around a bit, until the composition was perfect to the artistic eye. Several photographs were, I'm sure, taken, from different angles, and from the group, one was selected. Then, the final touches -- the gray bars -- were added, digitally superimposed on the photograph. The result -- a visual masterpiece!

I think it's great when authors turn out to be talented in art as well, and design their own awesome  covers. To me, that makes a book even more enjoyable! Kudos to Mr. Marggraf!

About the Author/Artist

Brian Marggraf has been writing fiction since the fourth grade. His first completed piece: a story about dragons, castles, and knights. Derivative, yes, but at age ten that's ok. In 2002, he graduated from San Francisco State University's creative writing program. His work has been published in Transfer Magazine and The Olive Tree Review. Dream Brother, his debut novel, was released in January 2014. He grew up in Ventura County, California, and now lives in New York City.

Online Links


What do you think of 
this week's cover?
Please leave me a comment 
and let me know!


  1. This one is unusual but it is a great cover. I love your analysis of the vertical bars. I think that you are correct about them.

    I also appreciate how you broke down how the image was likely created. A first glance one might not thing that this involved so much work and energy. Clearly it did. Have a great weekend!

    1. Hey, Brian!

      The minute I saw this cover, I stopped in my tracks and just LOOKED. And looked. I LOVE it!! Yes, it's unusual, but very creative. The designer, Cy Ferguson, saw what most people would have missed in this scattered group of sticker sheets -- aesthetic potential. And he exploited it to the max!

      I do think that, after Ferguson first noticed the possibilities, he then did some re-arranging of the sticker sheets, until the composition was to his satisfaction. I don't think he just took a picture the minute he saw the piles of sheets. But who knows? Maybe he did just that. I'm not 100% sure, but I'm more inclined to the view that he reworked the image until he had it as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Then he put in the bars digitally. He's clearly HUGELY talented!!

      Thanks again for all of your compliments!! Hope you have a great weekend, as well!! : )

    2. Hi, again, Brian!

      I have amended the post, because it turned out that the author himself was the cover artist!! Well, I really had no idea. Amazon only lists Ferguson's name on the credits page of the book. Well, everything I wrote about Ferguson really applies to Marggraf. He's clearly HIGHLY talented!!! He notified me that he's was the one who had created the cover.


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