You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘comedy’ tag.
Recently I’ve seen not one, but two publication covers that devolve into an ever tinier spiral of meta-ness! Both use the same format, but their goals and effects are wildly different.
It starts with an image of a person on the cover of a book or magazine. That person is also holding the book or magazine in the picture. And the cover-in-the-cover version of that person is also holding the book or magazine! And the cover-in-the-cover-in-the-cover person is also holding the book or magazine! And… on and on it goes into infinity.
A memoir wrapped in meta
The first example of this format I saw at a local Barnes & Noble. It was Kathy Griffin’s Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin. I don’t know anything about Griffin, and after reading the back cover it seemed to mostly contain celebrity-themed stories and gossip (not my cup of tea), so despite its alluring meta-cover I didn’t pick it up.
But of course, my first inclination when I see anything meta is to ask “Why? What is this meta accomplishing?”
Since Griffin is a comedian, and the memoir is supposed to be funny, my best guess is that the cover designer thought it would be, well, funny. As you can see, the cover photo depicts Griffin acting the part of Miss America, only her sash reads “Official Book Club Selection.”
Basically, she’s making fun of authors and things like Oprah’s Book Club. The fact that she’s holding a copy of her own book, and showing it off as if it were a trophy or award reinforces the farce—and the comedy.
So why? It’s funny! And satirical. And we all know satire is a meta (and comedian) forte.
Via Twitter, I got a free subscription to Star Lee Magazine, which is aimed at female entrepreneurs and mom-preneurs (yeah, I don’t like the term either, but is author-preneur any better?). Lo and behold, Ms. Star Ladin, publisher of Star Lee Magazine, is all wrapped up in earth-toned silk, holding a copy of the latest issue of Star Lee, featuring its publisher all wrapped up in silk…etc.
Each issue of Star Lee is “themed.” It focuses on a specific skill or characteristic meant to help you succeed “on your own terms.” The theme for Vol. 1 Issue 2 is “Authentic You.”
In the premier issue of the magazine and in various email newsletters, Star Ladin has talked about her dream to create a community for heart-centered entrepreneurs, and a magazine to help them grow their businesses and their selves.
If that has been her dream (and this issue of the magazine focuses on authenticity), then it makes sense that Ladin would want to represent her “authentic” self as holding a copy of the magazine she’s worked so hard to create.
The “fashion” spread of this issue features the fashion editor dressed up in different outfits that represent different facets of herself, as well, which emphasizes the point. Who are you, and where do you see yourself? What do you need to be you, and how do you show that to the world?
The fashion editor shows it through her clothing choice. Ladin shows it by publishing a magazine that helps other female entrepreneurs. And designing meta magazine covers.
What would the meta cover of your book or magazine look like?