March 23, 2015
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

When we publish books here at First Second, we generally try to put some art on the spine.

Why do we do this?

Look at your bookshelf.  Go to your local bookstore and your local library.  Look at their bookshelves.

99.9% probability that the first thing you saw when you looked at your bookshelf and the bookshelves of your local library and bookstore were the spines of books.  So we try to put a little art on them to give them some advance preparation for how awesome the inside is going to be.

Here are some examples!


The spines from Fairy Tale Comics and Nursery Rhyme Comics! (The bears are the most adorable thing.)


Andre the Giant is on the spine of Box Brown’s Andre the Giant.


And Richard Feynman is on the spine of Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick’s Feynman.  (So are some Feynman diagrams.)


I love this mummy on the spine of Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert’s The Professor’s Daughter!


Bicycling spines on Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer!  (This spine also has some not pictured milkweed seeds on it.)


And here’s Lucy the bug scientist on the spine of Jay Hosler’s upcoming graphic novel Last of the Sandwalkers.


This super-violent young child with a knife on the side of Farel Dalrymple’s The Wrenchies is marvelous.


And here’s the spine from the upcoming graphic novel by Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka, and Boaz Lavie — The Divine!


Mike’s Place, our upcoming graphic novel by Jack Baxter, Joshua Faudem, and Koren Shadmi, is all about documentary filmmaking, so there’s a camera on the spine!


And the spine for Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang’s graphic novel In Real Life has the main character’s online avatar on the spine.  With an axe!


When we published Gene Luen Yang’s diptych Boxers & Saints, we put halves of faces on the two books — and made them match up on the spines.


And for our most complicated trick — George O’Connor’s Olympians series!  The spines all line up and add up to make Medusa.

We’re big fans of having art on the spines of books because it gives them an extra oomph when you stand them on the shelves next to other, less art-full books.  And we want our authors books to stand out!

Pick them!

One Comment on “ Spine Art! ”

  • Elvin | March 23rd, 2015 3:31 pm

    It’s just one of those small touches that makes First Second a high-quality publisher. Good stuff!

Your Comments are Welcome!